Mercer Island School Board Puts $196M Bond on April Ballot

The measure will rebuild four larger schools, modernize Mary Wayte Pool and some MIHS faciliities, and set aside money for land intended for a 4th elementary school. The MISD also said it is abandoning plans to purchase land for a new school bus lot.

The Mercer Island School Board approved a draft plan to put a single $196,275,000 construction bond issue to a public vote on the April ballot at a Jan. 26 public hearing at the Mercer Island School District board room.

The board passed the single bond measure on a 4-1 vote to rebuild larger elementary and middle schools, modernize Mary Wayte Pool and some MIHS faciliities, design a master plan for the North Mercer campus and set aside money for land intended for a fourth elementary school (more details of the plan can be found by clicking on the PDF image of plans to the right).

The board must bring the plan back in the form of a resolution with accompanying language for the ballot and pass it in order to appear on the April 17, 2012 ballot.

"It's not only a capacity issue. It's not only where the buildings are. These schools are built with teachers in classrooms connected by long narrow hallways," said Director Brian Emanuels, who supported the bond. "The way that you used to teach in those classrooms is not what our teachers are doing anymore. They're being held back and it's really limiting their ability to deliver a '21st Century' education. Think how much better they could do in facility designed for '21st Century' learning."

According to school district officials, planning for the school improvements and rebuilding commenced in 2008 with an engineering study of current buildings and a demographic study of the local student population. The study projected that Mercer Island schools will absorb over 800 students by 2020.

The board effecitvely adopted the recommendations made by the MISD 21st Century Planning Committee (21CPFC), a citizen's panel that reviewed issues of school overcrowding, obsolescence and safety. It had recommended the school board to adopt a larger bond for rebuilding all K-8 schools because the relative annual costs to local taxpayers between rebuilding four or five schools or just one or two could be as small as $0.20 per $1,000 of property assessed value. But a minority on the committee also felt the board should buy land and build a fourth elementary school instead of rebuilding three larger elementary schools.

Director Dave Myerson voted against the plan, citing his opposition to enlarging the capacity of individual elementary schools and his preference for four smaller schools.

"A lot of studies out there suggest smaller schools are better, and I think a fourth elementary school property should be purchased." he said. "This requires a much longer conversation ... We are giving the public an 'unbaked cake'."

MISD Executive Director Dean Mack estimated the bond would cost an average local homeowner, based on an assesed value of $1 million, an additional $900-$950 per year for the life of the bonds — expected to be about 25 years.

Local Bond Project Proposals

The proposed bond is intended to pay for the following combination of projects:

  • Acquire a site for School #6, which will allow for flexibility as we rebuild schools and house students
  • Rebuild a new Islander Middle School on the south campus
  • Rebuild three (3) new elementary schools
  • Expand classroom spaces at the high school, including the addition of additional science labs (6-12 classroom expansion)
  • Islander Stadium renovations (new pressbox; concession area; bathrooms; roof overhang; seating)
  • Invest in extending the life of Mary Wayte Pool 10-15 more years
  • Complete master planning of the mega-block (MIHS campus; Administration and Crest; bus lot; and north mercer buildings)

Final authorization of projects to be build with bond funds must be passed by the school board after the bond is approved.

The school district also announced it was abandoning plans for the purchase of a new bus lot near Mercer Island City Hall.

"The site was too small and required the acquisition of more land," said MISD superintendent Gary Plano. "Consequently, the cost of moving busses no longer fit into a sound business model."

(Ed. Note: This story was updated to clarify that the school board must pass a formal resolution to place the measure on the ballot at a subsequent meeting.)

Kendall Watson January 31, 2012 at 12:11 AM
Hi MI Mom, Thanks so much for having the courage to raise your hand and speak up. As for the portables, it sounds like that's what the MISD has been doing as soon as they re-opened after remodeling work in the 1990s was finished. But now they're almost legally out of room at all 3 schools (I guess they could try and get a waiver from the City?). Sounds like your peers in the PTA don't share your views — but does that mean all your peers, or just the ones you know through the local PTA?
Toby Suhm January 31, 2012 at 01:51 AM
Kendall and MI Mom, the bond issue is not about portables as learning spaces. They are merely one example of how the district has worked to deal with the increasing enrollments and programatic changes within the schools since they were remodeled. My own daughters have been in portables. I wouldn't say they liked them, but they were sufficient as a solution to overcrowded buildings. The bond issue is about the bigger picture - we have 50 year old schools that were designed for 425-475 students (depending on the elementary) and are now housing 550, 600, and 670 students respectively. I believe two of the elementary schools have had to go to 3 lunch periods to feed all the kids, meaning the kids barely have time to eat and cutting into PE time. All the common spaces (library, music rooms, computer labs, etc.) were designed for signifcantly fewer students then the buildings currently house. I too am heavily involed in the PTA and am sorry to hear that MI Mom doesn't think she can express her views. I disagree with her that our buildings serve their purpose wonderfully, but I respect that is her view. I think it is our teachers and staff who do a wonderful job of educating our kids despite facilities that create daily challenges for them.
Kendall Watson January 31, 2012 at 01:57 AM
Thanks for the reply, Toby. I think everyone in the community appreciates the depth of knowledge you and other members of the 21 CPFC have on this issue and — while not everyone may agree with your perspective — that knowledge and fairness helps advance the process. Kudos.
Jackie Brown January 31, 2012 at 04:14 AM
My children have been at Lakeridge for six years. For much of that time I have assisted with various reading programs that supplement the core reading curricula. By leveraging parent volunteers, teachers are better able to deliver more personalized learning. Because much of this one-on-one work occurs in the hallways (no other space is available), I have witnessed how overcrowded facilities are already impacting the ability of our school district to deliver on the goals of the 2020 Vision. It is extremely difficult to make a meaningful impact in 5 minutes of one-on-one time when other workgroups are lined up side-by-side (remember that teachers in portables must send their volunteers and students into the hallways of the main building, where they compete for space with all of the other classes), groups of students are frequently marching by because of the staggered lunches and recesses, and table space is almost all taken up with class projects for which there is no storage. Recently, I encountered all these challenges, plus one more: the music room's piano had to be moved to the very same hallway, and practice for the 5th grade musical began thirty feet away from where we were trying to read. We have great teachers and principals who are all doing incredible, almost miraculous work, yet my experience has convinced me that the strains on the system have reached a critical level which will only worsen unless our community makes this needed investment.
Kendall Watson January 31, 2012 at 05:14 AM
Jackie, thanks so much for the descriptive anecdotes that really capture a lot of what the school district and the 21 CFPC has identified as a critical need. In my personal opinion, it's these stories of how the overcrowding is having a real impact on students (or not) that are the most important elements of the discussion. I'd be very interested in witnessing what you describe — do you know who I could contact to report on what's going on in the schools? Thanks!
Kim Kendall January 31, 2012 at 06:27 AM
Jackie's description was the most helpful comment above for me. I hope creative and Green Design is going to go into these remodels. I would live to see buildings with useable green roofs, and parking areas underground. All outdoor surfaces should be permeable and so forth. With permeable surfaces, there is more room for building. I do have a question to about where the funds will come from for the teaching staff that will be needed to meet the demands of 800 more children on the island in the renovated schools? Thanks.
Ken Glass January 31, 2012 at 01:03 PM
In general, funds for teachers come from the state -- based on school population. The more students, the more funds (at a fixed fund/student rate). Money also comes from local maintenance and operations levies supported by the voters. However, with state budget cuts, the funds from the state (which represents the biggest chunk) have been stretched -- which normally would have resulted in fewer teachers for the same numbers of students -- so that's why the MI Schools Foundation has been holding "Bridge the Gap" events in the spring to help ensure we keep our great staff at the same levels.
Carrie George January 31, 2012 at 09:58 PM
As Ken described, funding for teachers and all operating costs go up or down based on the number of students, not the number of schools, so teaching costs wouldn't change dramatically based on new schools versus old. There has been a lot of conversation about building four new elementary schools instead of three, which would result in a net increase of about $450,000 in overhead costs each year. That would eat up all the money the Schools Foundation raises at Phone-a-Thon in the fall - and that makes no sense. The proposal the School Board put forward is the most cost effective way to address the overcrowding and out-of-date schools we have. As for green design, the 21st Century Facilities Planning Committee recommended inclusion of green features, and the School Board has signaled its interest in this. After the bond is passed, the process of developing specifications for each school, given its siting, will begin. There will be plenty of opportunities for public input about what features are important. The Board was careful not to budget for "gold-plated" schools, so underground parking will probably be excluded. But in terms of light and energy use and building materials and permeable surfaces, I believe that everything that can cost-effectively be green will be.
Mark Eskridge January 31, 2012 at 11:30 PM
I think one important aspect to keep in mind with the overcrowding in the schools is not necessarily "just" the portables, but to take into account the common spaces that the schools have to work with. Take West Mercer for example, I have had my son on more than one occassion tell me that he just didn't have enough time to eat his lunch, why you ask, because they have to allocate 3 lunch shifts to accomodate the student population leaving each grade with less than 20 minutes for lunch before they are shuffled outside for recess. We have had some of the best schools in the region for the last 50 years and it is now our turn to ensure that we continue to have the best schools for the next 50 years!!!!
Margaret Sullivan February 02, 2012 at 02:00 AM
MI Mom, I wasn't going to post anything but after reading what you wrote, I must. I am shocked that you think this issue is about whether or not portables are impacting our student's education. We can add portables until there is no more space, oh wait we already have, but that doesn't make the gym any bigger, or create a cafeteria, or make the bathrooms accommodate more students, or the library more spacious. I am surprised that you can be heavily involved in your PTA and not have learned the background of the issue and the research that has gone into this recommendation. The common spaces can’t handle the number of students in the building. We do not have art rooms, space for science, quiet rooms for learning support or spaces for personalized small group learning. I am sure you have seen the groups sitting in the halls to have reading time with volunteers. That is a terrible atmosphere for learning – trying to stay focused while a class files by to get to music. I will leave it at that, but please get more information and listen to all the reasons this is being considered. Portables are the least of our problems, in many cases.
Margaret Sullivan February 02, 2012 at 02:32 AM
Wow, really? $25,000 per household? And you think they will be requesting a check for the full amount as soon as the bond is passed? Let’s not twist the facts to scare people, please. We all know it is incorporated into our monthly, for most of us, payments and would be over the course of 25 + years or closer to $1,000 per year or approximately $85 per month.
Kendall Watson February 02, 2012 at 05:29 AM
Thanks for the perspective on the issue of spreading out bonds into property taxes, Margaret. There are arguments to be made for both sides, but it's most helpful, in my opinion, if everybody makes their point on an apples-to-apples comparison — and when discussing a bond issue that's usually an estimate the average homeowner in the community pays every year. Three thoughts on this: 1) I haven't actually seen a document or the advice from the securities broker the MISD is working with, so the "$900-$950 increase for the MI home valued at $1 million" is so far coming extemporaneously from MISD Exec. Dir. Dean Mack. I'm waiting for an actual document that outlines this in writing. 2) What if assessed home values continue to drop (as they most certainly will as the county assessor will take only post-peak sales data into account for 2012)? 3) That's $900-$950 increase above the current levy the school district assesses. Taxes were scheduled to drop next year through 2015 as all the 1990s remodeling bonds were paid off. Food for thought.
Kevin Scheid February 13, 2012 at 05:40 PM
Accepting the fact that the schools are facing a problem of overcrowding, I would like to know that the proposed solution is the best solution to the problem. Apparently, alternatives were dismissed because building could not be expanded up, and the properties will not allow an increased footprint. Not being able to build up is understandable, but the limitation on an increased footprint makes no sense and should be checked more closely. What exactly limits the footprint on the school grounds? It seems that a properly built addition would take up less footprint than the present portables. Clarifying this issue will help me understand why replacing the schools is the best solution. Furthermore, I have heard that this option will take 8 years to complete. So replacement solution will mean that the overcrowding will continue and worsen for the next 8 years, while adding the inconvenience of on-site construction and demolition. Conceivably, a child in kindergarten today will endure overcrowding, construction and demolition for his or her entire elementary and middle school years. As a homeowner, I do not think it is too much to ask to see the top two or three alternatives, how they were evaluated, the pros and cons of each, costs, timelines and why replacement is the best option. I don't see any of that. It appears that the proposal is a solution to a different problem.
Sam Hickman February 14, 2012 at 10:25 PM
Kevin, the limits on footprint on school grounds are some of the standard things such as setback requirement (35') and permeable cover standards, and also the state schools standard for play area which scales with the number of students. Most importantly, however, are the current requirements for classroom daylight (natural lighting) and natural ventilation. This would require a change in the building envelope, not just footprint, to accommodate glazing orientation in classrooms to meet daylight standards. Lake Washington School District hired architects and engineers to evaluate the build new versus remodel economics for each of their recent capital projects. The documents are on the LWSD website, publicly available. Very eye-opening. The cost factors are different for each school, but you can get the general sense of which would apply to our schools. Remodeling costs nearly the same as building new! You can find more information here: http://mischoolsyes.org/build-new-or-remodel/
Toby Suhm February 15, 2012 at 04:47 PM
Kevin, the citizen's committee (21CFPC) spent 12 months studying the options and alternatives for dealing with the overcrowding in our schools. We thoroughly examined the remodel option and concluded that it was not feasible. Sam Hickman does a good job in identifying many of the issues that prevent an expansion outward. Another is the code requirement that a paved lane sufficient for fire department vehicles to get around the building be present. When you add all these factors together (much less the desire for some playground space for the kids), expansion outward is not possible. There are a couple of key reasons why the proposed plan will take upwards of 8 years to complete. One is the staging of the rebuild of the schools. Most likely one a year after a year of planning and permitting. The other is a desire to keep citizens tax rates level by issuing the bonds incrementally as the moneny is needed, not all up front. Finally, as a member of the 21CFPC, I would be happy to meet with you over coffee and answer your questions about the top two or three alternatives we examined, the process we used, the pros and cons for each, etc. Please contact me. 20 citizens spent a year studying the issue in developing the recommendation made to the school board. The board spent another 4 months examining the recommendation. This clearly is the best solution to the problem of overcrowed, aging schools.
Robert Brown February 16, 2012 at 02:08 AM
First of all, it seems like if you are only willing to talk about all the other options in private and not discuss them in public then there must be a hidden agenda. On the Feasible Construction Options sheet, it states the "Rebuild with Expansion" is probable for all the schools, whereas you say that there is no more or little more ground surface available. Additionally, it seems like the only option, then, are two story schools, in which the dynamic of the functions of the school would be completely different. One must consider the impact of a two story large establishment near smaller residential houses. Besides the prohibitive costs, the 21st CFPC has no building designs, preliminary blueprints, or estimates for each individual school. Also, as an earlier comment designated, the construction for 8 years would negatively effect students learning, perhaps even more so than simple overcrowding (although I do agree this is a problem). The North Mercer Campus should have been thought of more thoroughly, and rather than rebuild schools, a more cost-effective way would be to build a fourth elementary school on one of the multitude of plots available.
Toby Suhm February 16, 2012 at 02:48 AM
Robert, not sure what you mean by "only willing to talk about the other options in private". All of the 21CFPC meetings were public, as were the multiple public forums we held to get additional input from our fellow Mercer Ilanders. There is no hidden agenda. The "rebuild with expansion" option in the documents refers to rebuilding the schools as two story structures, the same approach that has been taken with most rebuilt schools on the Eastside in recent years. The 8 years that keeps greeting referred to is the total length of time it will take to replace all three elementaries and the middle school as they will be done sequentially. Each school will only be affected for the one year that the new school is being built on site. The North Mercer campus was thoroughly vetted by the 21CFPC during the year we studied the multitude of options available. The overwhelming majority of the committee concluded that placing a fourth elementary there would severely limit future options there, including rebuilding the high school at some future date. There are no other plots available on the island.
Robert Zakhar February 17, 2012 at 12:46 AM
The plans on the document say a new sixth school, is this just an outdated plan option you're making public? Just like back in the 90's I expect this bond to be rejected because of the lack of independent research and input (how 21 CFPC members have children in the district?). Also, the forecasts can only be so accurate; the further out in time the less precise it becomes. Also, why should the high school be thought of being rebuilt when it is just getting a 2 million dollar upgrade to the end of the 500 hall? If they are don sequentially, then the capacity won't be solved like a more expedient renovation. Extra costs should be removed from the bond, so that the taxpayers are not strained should it pass. Additionally, proponents claim that other districts have passed bonds and levies, but the Seattle Times article yesterday says otherwise-- that schools like Renton and Federal Way have been rejected for bond measures. You also did not respond to the two story schools concern.
Kendall Watson February 17, 2012 at 01:56 AM
Hi Robert, You're right, that's a draft plan that I've put up there, but it's widely expected (and the 21 CFPC recommended) that the 6th school would be an elementary school. I think a number of your questions could be answered if you took a look at the 21 CFPC subpage at the school district website, here: http://www.misd.k12.wa.us/departments/facilities/facilitiesQ&A.html Some members have kids in the district, some have kids in the district now but they'll be long-gone by the time the proposed schools are built and some have kids young enough that they might spend a year or two in the new schools (if memory serves, that's a tiny minority of the members). If you're talking about the demography of the students, the district has done a couple of these studies now, in 2008 and 2010, and current enrollment projections show that these studies were on the conservative side. I believe the district said they had a 95% confidence interval for projecting enrollment figures for 2015, which when they say the first new school wold be built by the scope of this bond. The district also said the open enrollment kids are already baked in to the models. I don't think this bond is intended to "rebuild" the high school. I think the MISD has used the phrase "modernize" for MIHS. The other school districts the MISD constantly compares themselves to re: bonds are Lake Washington, Issaquah and Bellevue — all passed significant bonds for new schools recently (and LWSD voters rejected one, too).
Kevin Scheid February 17, 2012 at 04:39 AM
Sam, thank you for your response. The information you provide is very helpful in understanding the work of the 21st century committee. However, it seems that the issues you mentioned could be either solved by an architect experienced with school design and considering all the restraints, or it would be proven to be a show-stopper. Since the acreage of our elementary and middle schools exceed the recommended acreage for schools, it would seem that a plan could be devised to accommodate all requirements while adding the capacity needed for solve the problem. Again, we can only know for sure when a careful plan is laid out, and I can see no evidence of that being done. I’m not sure where the issue of remodeling the school comes into the picture. Remodeling would not solve the problem of school overcrowding nor does it seem to be a necessary part of other options. However, you do give a clue to the purpose of a remodel when referring to the classroom standards for natural daylight and ventilation and the Washington School district remodel vs. rebuild analysis. This appears to be an environmental upgrade, which of course would be extremely expensive as re-orienting the building is required. I don’t believe an environmental upgrade solves the overcrowding problem. To solve overcrowding, additional space is needed. Space can be added with an addition, which does not need a remodel.
Kevin Scheid February 17, 2012 at 04:55 AM
Toby, I look forward to meeting with you to discuss this further. In the meantime, let me just say that the part that does not add up for me is the absence of some sort of planning document which shows the present school grounds is not adequate to accommodate all the requirements and an addition. Since even the smallest school lot is nearly 3 acres over the standard lot for an elementary school, it does not make sense that expansion outward is not possible. I would think an architectural firm could resolve this issue pretty quickly. I also think that a document like this from an architectural firm would add one of the missing pieces and make the planning process more complete.
Sam Hickman February 17, 2012 at 06:45 AM
And you're right, the capacity problem is our key issue. We're already 35% over capacity, going to 41% overcapacity by 2015. But expanding capacity in a school requires more than just adding classrooms. How do you add 40% to a library, or a lunchroom, or to hallways in a 60-year-old building? Major building reconfiguration. And then maybe you have to do seismic upgrades, post-Nisqually, right? The trigger for WPPS kicked in a long time ago. The good news is that school districts around us are showing us how to build some awesome schools. Look here for some examples: http://mischoolsyes.org/category/did-you-know/ Information about WSSP can be found here: http://www.k12.wa.us/SchFacilities/Programs/HighPerformanceSchoolBuildings.aspx Just to clarify, I wasn't a member of the 21st Century Facilities Planning Committee, I'm just a father and citizen. My three kids likely wouldn't benefit much from the new schools -- my youngest is now in 2nd grade. But my property value will certainly benefit if we maintain the top school reputation we have. I fear that will become increasingly difficult as Bellevue, Lake Washington, Issaquah and Renton continue to build stellar facilities and attract teachers to go with them!
Sam Hickman February 17, 2012 at 06:48 AM
Hi Kevin, The Washington Legislature passed the "High Performance Public Buildings Act" in 2005 (RCW 39.35D). It applies to any building receiving funding from a state capital budget both for new construction and modernization / remodeling / expansion. For remodeling or expansion of a school of around 60,000 square feet, the law kicks in if the budget exceeds a threshold of around $5.5M. Once the trigger is hit, the project is then required to score 45 points in the Washington Sustainable Schools Protocol or achieve LEED silver rating. The WSSP is where you find requirements for 1.) daylighting, 2.) energy efficiency, 3.) indoor air quality, 4.) acoustics, 5.) use of sustainable materials, 6.) water efficiency. This is simply state law, not an optional environmental upgrade. If you look at the Lake Washington School District / facilities / capital projects website, you can read a whole raft of school architect and engineer reports about school design that speak to how they planned to meet WSSP requirements in that district. There are analyses on the build vs. remodel/expand decision (they're all posted). I looked in depth at 6 projects where the architects and engineers analyzed the expansion / remodel cost to be from 84% up to 130% of the cost of new construction, driven significantly by WSSP factors. I invite you to read some of them; it was truly eye-opening for me.
Marty Gale February 17, 2012 at 08:03 PM
Where are the cost estimates for each of the items included in the $196 million proposition going to the people? For the remodels a few years ago, the people were well aware of the costs. Is there some reason why they have not been put on Patch or in the MIR or even more importantly, on the District web site?
Kendall Watson February 17, 2012 at 08:06 PM
Hi Marty, I'll publish this as soon as I'm able — I've been trying to get something on this online for the past week but something else seems to always come up!!!!!!
Milford Walker February 17, 2012 at 10:40 PM
Trust is the issue. The school board and administration seem to have experts to suit any occasion. When they wanted us to remodel the schools the experts told us populations would continue to decline. They got their bond passed. They told us the same thing when they convinced the MI citizens to cell Mercer View to the city for a song because the schools would never again need this space (couldn't possibly consider an already owned city property). Besides they said if we are ever in a bind there is always North Mercer. Then came PEAK and the experts told us this would not affect the district's ability to use North Mercer. Now they tell us it is undoable to put the Middle school next to the B&G club. We are supposed to trust the experts again despite a google search showing the 0-4 year old and 5-9 year old populations significantly smaller than the current 10-14 year old population (That's a downward trend). They tell us to add 600 seats we have to spend 195 million dollars. That's over $350,000 a seat or 6.5 million per classroom of 20. Schools that were remodeled are not they same as 50 year old schools after all that's what the experts told us. There are about 8500 households on MI that's close to $25,000 a household if they were spread evenly for 600 seats. What will the "Experts" tell us next to get what they want. Milford Walker
Milford Walker February 17, 2012 at 11:02 PM
PS For the English Professors. Thoughts were expressed free form - sans a grammar review.
Kendall Watson February 18, 2012 at 02:18 AM
Thanks Milford. The current school board has said those decisions were made based on the data they had at the time — so your point is an interesting one. How viable are these forecasts? The 21 CFPC has embraced the projections that have a high level of confidence only up to 2015. So far, the actual enrollments have come in above estimates. I think you're using US Census numbers there, if I'm not mistaken. We did several stories on the numbers as they were released — here's the most relevant one: http://patch.com/A-h6dT From 2000 to 2010, the population of kids 0-4 incresed by 12; 5-9 was down by 79; 10-14 was down by 142; and 15-19 increased by 115. Also, there were 9,109 "households" on Mercer Island on April 1, 2010 (Census Day) — not 8,500. The school district is saying it will cost the homeowner who has an assessed property value of $1 million in 2012 will pay an additional $950 above taxes they're already paying. Hope that helps.
Richard Karnes February 21, 2012 at 06:35 PM
I agree with Milford Walker. If we really need another school (and that's debatable), there is a spare one that the Board has not yet given away: North Mercer Junior High. FIND A WAY TO MAKE IT WORK. Increasing property taxes by around 12 percent for 25 years is not the right way to treat MI citizens --especially retirees.
Robert Browne February 22, 2012 at 12:23 AM
Back in the 40's and 50's, the district was actually closing schools after enrollment peaked, then declined. One such campus is the North Mercer Junior High school, which should be used to as a fourth elementary school. Because it is geographically located near the north by West Mercer, it could house the growing population downtown. Also, the Facilities Master plan says a sixth school, although undecided grade levels. Why would anyone support a bond if they don't even know whether that school would be an elementary, middle, or junior high school? Additionally, in what order would the schools be built? I don't believe that ALL other options were thoroughly looked into. Some ideas that perhaps the 21 CFPC did not come up with (who made the 21 CFPC?) include creating another wing/building at IMS on the area of portables, like the 300 building. The elementary schools have a lot of land, too, and so near the back of a school like Lakeridge, the portable could be replace with another large wing. I also take issue with the fact that a 21 CFPC member replied saying there are no other plots of land, when in fact it is in the plan on the school district website. A minority of the 21 CFPC as well as at least one School Board Director supports a 4th elementary school. Building a fourth elementary school by itself would solve the immediate short term problem, while also not causing disruptions to learning. It is still too early to consider a remodel of the high school.


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