Capital Facilities Advisory Committee recommends Bond to build new schools
Thirty-nine Highline parents, students, and community members spent the last 10 months studying and deliberating about the need to improve or replace schools in Highline, and this week they recommended a bond to fund new school construction.
Co-chairs Rose Clark, a former Burien city council member, and Danielle Houle, a SeaTac resident, presented the group’s recommendations to the school board on Wednesday evening, June 15. Many members of the Capital Facilities Advisory Committee (CFAC) attended the board work session.
CFAC’s plan lays out three phases of improvements over 15-18 years. Each phase would require a voter-approved bond to fund construction.
The committee identified four top-priority problems to be solved in Phase 1:
- Elementary capacity – With growing enrollment and state funding for smaller class sizes, more elementary classrooms are needed.
- Middle school capacity – Current middle schools do not have room to accommodate growing enrollment and the addition of sixth grade.
- Des Moines Elementary – This 90-year-old school is ranked as the Highline school in worst condition in an independent survey by architects.
- Highline High School – HHS is ranked in second worst condition in the same survey.
CFAC recommends the following projects in Phase 1:
- Security improvements at all schools in the district.
- Rebuild Highline High School, preserving as much of the façade as structurally and financially feasible.
- Begin design of new Evergreen and Tyee campuses.
- Build new school on the district-owned Zenith site to house Des Moines students, with room for growing enrollment.
- Build a new middle school on the district-owned Glacier site.
- Replenish the capital fund, which will be depleted in 2017-18. This fund covers critical needs and emergency repairs.
- Make required improvements to Olympic so it can be used to house students during HHS construction and future school construction projects.
The recommendations are the result of a year-long process that included analyzing enrollment projections, reviewing building conditions and financial data, and touring aging schools.
“This was a community-driven process,” said Co-Chair Houle. “District staff provided the information we asked for, and the community members based their decisions on data.”
The CFAC co-chairs praised committee members for dedicating many hours to understanding the issues and developing solutions.
“I been involved in many committees over my long years working for this community, and this is the best one I have ever experienced,” said Co-chair Clark. “The process we followed should be a model for problem-solving in the future.”
The school board is reviewing the CFAC recommendations and will make the final decision on whether and when to place a bond on the ballot.
The committee is composed of 40 members.
- Maria Santiago – Highline Council PTSA Representative
- Vanissa Guiberson – Highline Special Needs PTA Representative
- Chuck Tuman – Highline Citizens for Schools Representative
- Sue McCabe – Highline Education Association (HEA) Representative
- Kyle Linman – Principal’s Association Representative
- Dale Nuce – Teamsters Representative
- Sophie Rock – Student Representative – Mount Rainier High School
- Jose Bermudez – Student Representative – Highline High School
- Keller Galo-Mejia – Student Representative -Tyee Campus
- Larissa Merlo-Huerto – Student Representative – Evergreen Campus
- Susan West – City of Normandy Park Representative
- Jeff Robinson – City of SeaTac Representative
- Michelle Wills – City of Des Moines Representative
- Dan Trimble – City of Burien Representative
- Lois Schipper – King County Council Representative
At-Large Members (selected by lottery):
- Laura Castronover
- Rose Clark
- Joseph Clegg
- Linda Cook
- Barbara Daligcon
- Jim Daligcon
- Aaron Easter
- Aaron Garcia
- Michel Hansmire
- Chad Harper
- Jennifer Hefford-Anderson
- Danielle Houle
- Andrea Ivy
- Nicole Jolley
- Elizabeth Leavitt
- Joey Martinez
- Karla Ohrt
- Jen Pilgrim
- David Polda
- Kathy Reed
- Susan Rombauer
- Nora Vivarelli
- Tony Vo
- Tonita Webb
In addition to forty community members, district staff members will also be in attendance of the meetings. They will be supported by other educational and operational staff, professional consultants, and other experts as appropriate to provide a comprehensive understanding of the District’s current fiscal, physical and educational conditions.
- Dr. Susan Enfield – Superintendent
- Duggan Harman – Chief of Staff & Finance
- Scott Logan – Chief Operations Officer
- Catherine Carbone Rogers – Chief Communications Officer
- Scott Hodgins – Executive Director of Capital Projects
Here’s a video overview of the committee: