Kessler students services center
Student services center set to open in 2021
Posted on 02/06/2019
Student services center set to open in 2021

Plans are being designed to build a student services center at the District’s South Hill Support Campus. The 40,000 square foot multipurpose building, approved by the Puyallup School Board, is scheduled to open in September 2021.

Don and Edith Kessler

Officially named the Kessler Center, located next to Costco at 1501 39th Ave. SW, the student center will serve:

•  Puyallup Digital Learning program and students;
•  Advance Program and students (Special Services young adult program);
•  Child Find;
•  Highly Capable headquarters; and
•  Puyallup Special Services staff

In addition to student support programs, the central location provides an opportunity for professional development space for staff, and possibly a future location for school board meetings.

South Hill Support CenterCurrently, the district services located at the South Hill Support Campus include Food and Nutrition Services, Educational Technology, Logistics Support and the warehouse, student records, and the South Hill Transportation facility.

Relocating students, staff, and programs to the Kessler Center is part of a long-term district plan to increase efficiency and reduce costs. The district owned land provides an opportunity to reduce substantial leasing costs. For example:

•  The Advance program and Puyallup Digital Learning currently use leased buildings.
•  The print shop, which is also using leased space, will be relocated to the warehouse at the South Hill Support

The student services center is named in honor of the Kessler family who sold the site to the district in 1986. Don and Edith Kessler (deceased) were longtime Puyallup residents and had been active in numerous Puyallup civic organizations. Mrs. Kessler worked as the Secretary to the Pierce County Superintendent of Schools and later as the Executive Secretary to the Superintendent of Puget Sound Educational Service District. Their daughter, Gayle Shenk, was an employee in the district, working for Puyallup Special Services and the Transportation Department. Their son, Lee Kessler, is retired and resides in Maple Valley.

“In honor of the Kessler’s many years of service to the community of Puyallup and to education, it seems fitting that the future student services center take on the Kessler name,” says Chief Operations Officer Mario Casello.

The building will be funded through State Match funds from the 2015 bond program. When districts build new schools, expand, or modernize existing schools they may be eligible for state matching funds from the School Construction Assistance Program. The voter approved 2015 School Construction and Facility Improvements bond projects have allowed the district to meet the requirements of the program.

At the May 2, 2018 Board Work Session, the school board was asked to consider using the state match funding to expand classroom space and increase safety and security in four junior highs and construct the student services center on south hill.

Nancy French