After announcing during a special meeting that April’s proposed bond measure would be set for $220 million, the Peninsula School District’s Board of Directors announced last week an itemized budget for the funding.
During the board’s regular Jan. 11 meeting, the directors discussed a list of projects and what their estimated costs have been totaled to — the main project being a new elementary. The location of the new school has yet to be determined.
Superintendent Rob Manahan said the school most likely will be built on district property off Harbor Hill Dr. in the Gig Harbor North area..
“I am dumbfounded we haven’t figured out where to put this new school,” board member David Olson said during the meeting. “I think it should be in (the Gig) Harbor North (area).”
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Olson said he did support the estimated cost of the school and would like to talk more on the subject of location.
“We need to be very clear in what is being spent and where,” Deborah Krishnadasan said to the board before reviewing a list of projects and costs.
“This is step two of 50 other steps that need to be checked before we bring an official ballot to voters,” Manahan said. “What does it mean by costs and terms of projects? I want to discuss how we can refine this and move things around.”
Manahan said there are more than 90 pages of spreadsheets that cover the details of each estimate and proposed costs for projects. The costs are also adjusted for possible inflation of costs over the next few years, he said.
▪ $75 million for modernization and some rebuilding at Artondale Elementary and Peninsula High School.
▪ $38 million for modernization and some rehabilitation to existing classrooms and facilities at Key Peninsula Middle School. This will include additions to science classrooms.
▪ $16 million for system upgrades and efficiency upgrades, which will fix HVAC systems and replace roofs at Discovery Elementary, Evergreen Elementary, Harbor Heights Elementary, Minter Creek Elementary, Purdy Elementary, Vaughn Elementary, Voyager Elementary, Key Peninsula Middle School, Kopachuck Middle School, Goodman Middle School, Harbor Ridge Middle School, Gig Harbor High School and Henderson Bay High School.
▪ $8 million for safety and accessibility upgrades given to every school in the district.
▪ $42 million for modernizing individual classrooms at Gig Harbor High School, Kopachuck Elementary School, Discovery Elementary and Minter Creek Elementary.
▪ $40 million for a new elementary school aimed at easing overcrowding.
- The bus barn and transporation facilities within the district will see upgrades if the district can receive state matching funds.
The Peninsula School District needs a total of about $400 million for repairs, updates and more. A little more than $95 million of those estimated costs would go toward preventative maintenance.
This is step two of 50 other steps that need to be checked before we bring an official ballot to voters
PSD Superintendent Rob Manahan
In a separate interview with The Peninsula Gateway, Manahan said the board chose to go with a smaller bond amount rather than the full $400 million because it believed it would be received better by voters.
“We have $400 million of work that needs to be done,” Manahan said. “We will use the $220 million but we are planning for inflation. A lot of it is about the community response and what they can afford. We don’t want to out-cost our community’s resources. We are trying to be sensitive to that.”
Manahan said the district chose $220 million after lengthy discussions with engineers and architects, including some from Washington State University.
Ellen Fay Award recipient
Also during the meeting, special education teacher Kristen Chu, known as “Yoda” to the families she serves, was given the Ellen Fay Award from the school district. The room was packed with supporters who brought flowers, gifts and signs to the Harbor Heights Elementary teacher.
“I get to teach a spectacular group of kids every day. Thank you,” Chu said at the meeting.
The Ellen Fay Award is an inner-district award named after a past human resource director Ellen Fay. The criteria for the award includes engagement with students and families, modeling professional growth and improvement, excellence in job performance in position and any special recognitions.