As the Snoqualmie Valley School District broke ground on its 6th elementary school, March 16, 2015, a feeling of gratitude was in the air – representing a district grateful to the community for supporting a recent bond and allowing it to move forward after a nine years of coming oh-so-close to passing capital construction school bonds.
A gracious Superintendent Joel Aune thanked people at the groundbreaking ceremony and those not in attendance, describing the hundreds of people and years of work involved in seeing the district through to the end of its nine-year bond journey.
He described countless community members who volunteered their time – dating back to a 2006 Facilities Task Force and ending with a recent grassroots effort – and how years of effort and tenacity came full circle in February to pass the district’s $244 million comprehensive bond, proving the Snoqualmie Valley’s commitment to its schools.
New Elementary School
The first project the capital bond will fund is a new elementary school, located at the corner of Snoqualmie Parkway and SE Swenson Drive, which will provide needed capacity and allow SVSD to roll out full-day kindergarten for all students and lower class size in grades K-3.
According to Asst. Superintendent Ryan Stokes, the elementary school construction contract is already out for bid, aided by permitting and design worked completed last year, allowing the district to be ready to build with a bond passage.
The school will open fall 2016 and be similar to Cascade View, only larger and with a few tweaks. It will have the same three classroom-wing design, along with a central area for the library, computer labs, offices and kindergarten classrooms. The gymnasium and multipurpose will stem off the other end.
Architects are also incorporating dendrochronology (science of tree ring dating) theme elements throughout the building’s design, alluding to the history of the Snoqualmie Valley.
Each wing will have one more classroom than Cascade View, giving the new school permanent capacity for around 650 students. The gym and multi-purpose room will also be slightly larger, which was a result of feedback from Cascade View staff.
The 25-acre land parcel the school sits on is sloped, so the building will be placed on the slightly higher grade near the front of the property and the play field area will sit behind it on the lower grade. There will be one street entrance off of SE Swenson Drive and another off of SE Vaughan Street.
Stokes said during the event that the district will award the Elementary #6 construction contract in early April, and land prep work should commence quickly, giving the district 17 months to complete the new school. Cascade View was constructed in approximately 15 months.
The new school is not named yet, nor have attendance boundaries been decided. Those will occur as the facility gets closer to completion.
Assistant Superintendent Jeff Hogan explained with the addition of the new school, elementary students who have a Snoqualmie zip code should be able to attend a school within that zip code. Currently, newer neighborhoods on Snoqualmie Ridge are in the Fall City and North Bend Elementary attendance boundaries.
Exact attendance boundary lines for all of the district’s elementary schools, though, will be decided at a future date.
High School & Other Bond Projects
The February school bond also provides funding to re-build and enlarge Mount Si High School. That project is currently in the design and permitting phase. A design committee is being assembled, consisting of staff and community members and architects.
The Mount Si High School re-build project will occur in phases. The first phase of construction, which will build new classroom space on the current MSHS site, is estimated to break ground in about two years.
When new high school classroom space is ready in fall 2019, other portions of the current Mount Si facility (except for the gymnasium and sports complex) will be torn down and re-built.
Freshmen will return to the main campus in 2019 when those new classrooms are completed and the current freshman campus will then be reinstated as the district’s 3rd middle school to alleviate crowding in grades 6-8.
Mount Si High School is expected to be completely re-built by 2022.
Bond funds will also pay for building improvements at all existing SVSD schools. For more information on all bond projects visit the Snoqualmie Valley School District website.