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School Board Considers Options for North Mercer Master Plan

Following the failed school bond in April, architects presented the Mercer Island School Board with several options on how to move forward at their June 26 retreat with several Master Plan concepts for the North Mercer "Mega Block" property.

The Mercer Island School Board is considering several scenarios for a master plan for the "Mega Block/North Campus" during its June 26 retreat.

The land is an area of school district property that is bound by 88th Ave. SE, SE 40th St., SE 42nd St. and 92nd Ave. SE.

The plans are both a short- and long-term plan for the area that includes a number of schools and community-based facilities, including , , , , , and others.

The conceptual designs presented by Mahlum Architects take several different approaches and are pictured above.

Trevor Hart June 30, 2012 at 11:11 PM
Kendall........I was not at the June 26 meeting when these options were presented, so you may have heard something different from what is described for Option 1, Phase 1. As I read the description of Option 1, Phase 1, it states, "BUILD SCHOOL 6, A 450 STUDENT ELEMENTARY OR A 650 STUDENT 5-8 OR 7-8 MIDDLE SCHOOL". My preference is the 4th elementary option and not a 2nd middle school on this mega-block site. Any expansion needed for the middle school level should be done at the existing middle school site. Having prepared many of these quick site studies throughout my career as an Architect, it is clear to me that Mahlum Architects were given a task by the District that was limited to studying Master Plan options for the mega-block, and not the larger problem of overcrowding throughout the District. Therefore, any option put forth regarding developement of the mega-block, high school site, must be viewed in the larger context of the overcrowding problem throughout the District, and have a sensible fit within the larger picture of the greater problem.
Kendall Watson July 02, 2012 at 05:53 AM
Trevor — you're right. I missed the word "Elementary" as I was transcribing what I could see from the photos I took. Thanks for the correction. I think a few of the School Board directors were disappointed that there were options for the mega block that didn't offer a middle school overcrowding solution.
Trevor Hart July 03, 2012 at 04:43 AM
Kendell, what gave you the impression that some school board member were disapointed that options didn't include a middle school option when in fact Option 1 did offer this as an alternate? Check the language of the phasing on Option 1. As I stated previously, I personally do not support this middle school option on this site..
Kendall Watson July 03, 2012 at 04:55 AM
Trevor, I don't think the school board member who raised this point, Director Adair Dingle, was in favor of shifting the 5th grade to middle schools. That was my understanding of her objection. Quote: "Options 1 and 7 don't do anything about overcrowding issue."
Ken Glass July 04, 2012 at 12:58 AM
One advantage of a middle school on the site (or a 7-8 school) is that kids in that school could take advantage of high school offerings, if qualified and interested. It also avoids the problem of co-mingling K-5 kids with high schoolers.

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