Mercer Island's are one step closer to reality after final recommendations to quickly rebuild all of the school district's K-8 school buildings within a decade are to be publicly discussed at a Sept. 29 school board meeting.
Over the course of the past year the 21st Century Facilities Planning Committee (21CFPC) met with educational experts, school administrators, architects, engineers and other experts and visited new schools in the area. According to 21CFPC Facilitator Kris Kelsay, the group based their recommendation on the input it received, as well as enrollment projections (please click here for the full report).
A strong majority of the committee, according to the report, believes the district should:
- Build three new two-story elementary schools and a new middle school on their existing sites, within 8 years.
- Build a new high school on a different location on the current high school campus within 25 years.
- Issue a bond to cover the first four schools now, while interest rates and construction costs are low.
A minority of the committee recommends that the district acquire new property for a fourth new elementary school and either rebuild or remodel the current existing schools.
Notably, the 21CFPC panel is also recommending that the North Mercer Campus be demolished in "the near future" and the board should hire a structural engineer to assess when the building must come down. However, the displaced businesses should be accommodated with space in the newer schools, stated the recommendation.
The group also recommend that the board consider in future plans that involve the addition of a Black Box theater extension.
The 21CFPC is a citizens' panel asked to formulate a master plan for local schools over the next 50 years, will formally present their findings tonight at 6 p.m. inside the .