Puyallup Herald

Completed elementary school expansion to help Puyallup district deal with burgeoning enrollment

The Puyallup School District completed a 12-classroom addition at Hunt Elementary this month that’s expected to help ease the influx of students into the district.

The South Hill elementary now can accommodate 276 more students. Current district enrollment is 22,250 students and steadily climbing.

“This ribbon-cutting event signifies the beginning of something new and wonderful for our students and staff,” Hunt Elementary principal Rebecca Williams said in a district announcement. “Our school not only looks beautiful, but it’s fully equipped with the technology that promotes engagement and access to prepare students for college and career readiness.”

The 16,000-square-foot addition is similar to the addition completed at Shaw Road Elementary last September. The classrooms are equipped with interactive technology and laptops for the district’s 1:1 Program, which is meant to transition students from textbooks to digital learning.

The project is part of a $252 million bond passed by 69 percent of voters in 2015.

Teachers and students gather to celebrate the ribbon cutting of a new 12-classroom addition at Hunt Elementary that’s expected to help ease the influx of students. Sept. 4, 2018 Allison Needles allison.needles@puyallupherald.com

In 2016, the Puyallup School Board voted to reduce the scope of the Pope Elementary expansion project from a 44-homeroom school to a 32-homeroom school, allowing the district financial flexibility to build an addition to Hunt Elementary to stem increased growth.

“When we started looking at some of the traffic patterns and the layout at (Hunt Elementary) campus, we realized it would be in our best interest to reduce the number of homerooms at Pope down to 32, then make it possible to move 12 classrooms over here,” Puyallup School District Operations Director Mario Casello said at the ribbon cutting ceremony on Sept. 4.

Originally built with 18 classrooms in 1990, Hunt Elementary now has more than 30 classrooms to accommodate a total of 770 students.

“We have the first-ever synthetic surface playground, which makes it a lot more user friendly, safe (and) secure for the kids,” Casello said.

Construction is currently underway on five other bond projects: the construction of the brand new Dessie Evans Elementary in South Hill, expansion and remodel of Pope Elementary, and replacement of Firgrove, Northwood and Sunrise elementary schools.

Allison Needles: 253-597-8507, @herald_allison