LAKEWOOD, WASH. — Equipped with hard hats and shovels, students from Mann and Woodbrook middle schools, school board members and special dignitaries ceremoniously broke ground Oct. 22 on a new middle school that will combine both schools.
In fall 2020, Mann and Woodbrook middle schools will close and the new school will open. Students from both schools are excited at the prospect of going to a newly built school and making new friends.
“It’s going to be good for students because the new environment will be better for learning, and there will be new people at the school so you can make new friends,” said Woodbrook sixth-grader Daelynn Taylor.
Mann student Chase Washington agrees, “A new school will be good for students because then we can all have a better environment. That will make us more proud to go to school and we’ll probably learn better.”
The new 132,000 square foot school is designed to accommodate 1,000 students in 48 classrooms, including three science rooms for each grade, a main gymnasium, an auxiliary gym, a large commons area with raised stage/platform, a library/media center, a full-prep kitchen, and spaces for art, music and career and technical education (CTE) classes.
“This new facility will replace two aging schools and will provide our students with a quality, state-of-the-art learning environment that supports their growth and prepares them to graduate career, college and life ready,” said Superintendent Douglas Kernutt.
Funding for the new school comes from district cost savings on other capital projects, state construction assistance and military impact aid.
“We are proud we are able to build this new school using funds from cost savings on other capital projects, state construction assistance and military impact aid,” Kernutt said. “The ability to do so is nearly unheard of and reflects our school board’s strong commitment to financial management and stewardship of public dollars.”
Once the new school is completed, the site will be reconfigured with new play fields, an all-weather track and new public and staff parking. A new bus loop will also be developed separate from the parent drop-off and pick-up areas.
Mann and Woodbrook middle schools have strong academic programs and rich histories in their respective communities. The schools will work together to develop plans to support students, staff and families in transitioning to a new school.
A committee will be formed in early 2019 to facilitate the naming process of the new school.