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Bond Oversight Committee recommends bond project change
Bond Oversight Committee recommends project change
Posted on 11/17/2016
Bond Oversight Committee recommends project change

The Puyallup School Board has been asked to consider reducing the scope of the Pope Elementary expansion bond project in order to fund a 12 classroom addition to Hunt Elementary. The Pope remodel and expansion would become a 32 homeroom building, instead of the current plan for 44 homerooms.

The Bond Oversight Committee was commissioned to oversee and make recommendations to the board regarding the implementation of the 2015 voter approved $292.5 million School Construction and Facility Improvements bond measure with respect to scope, schedule, and cost of the projects. The committee charter states the committee will make periodic reports to the board as to the progress of the bond program and make recommendations as to any changes to the baseline of the scope of work.

The report to the board on November 7 by Gary Frentress, executive director of capital projects, on behalf of the Bond Oversight Committee, cited several advantages and benefits to the proposed changes to Pope and Hunt. The cost savings are estimated to be 2.8 million dollars.

In line with the current boundary review study, the changes will disperse students more evenly among the elementary schools in the area. Frentress sighted a key advantage to the committee recommendation is that it helps keep kids in their neighborhood. Hunt will be able to house more students who may have been reassigned to a much larger 44 homeroom building at Pope.

“There are challenges with the footprint of the planned larger school on the Pope site,” reported Frentress. Expanded parking requirements and increased traffic on the already congested roads surrounding Pope will potentially present challenges to parents and the community.

The Pope project is scheduled to begin in January 2017 with completion in 2020. The Hunt classroom addition would begin in the summer of 2017 and be completed in one year. The same 12 classroom addition currently being constructed at Shaw Road Elementary will be used for Hunt since the buildings have the same floor plan.

Ten portables currently housed at Hunt would become available in 2018 to support growth and class size reduction goals in other schools throughout the district.

The next Bond Oversight Committee report to the School Board is scheduled during the regularly scheduled board meeting on November 21, at 6:00 p.m. at Kalles Junior High.

The committee will continue to meet regularly to review the bond projects with the next bond oversight meeting scheduled in December. Chief Operations Officer, Mario Casello, who facilitates the Bond Oversight Committee, stated “the work that this committee is focused on will benefit the district for years and years to come. We are excited about the commitment and passion of the committee members and their dedication to the success of our staff and students! Their time and effort is much appreciated.”

The approved bond projects allow the district to replace Firgrove, Northwood, and Sunrise elementary schools, remodel and expand Pope Elementary, and build a new elementary school on undeveloped district-owned property on 144th Street near 80th Avenue, west of Meridian.