Options campus delay may stall move of two programs to shared campus
August 28, 2008 · Updated 10:03 AM
MARYSVILLE A plan to house three schools on one combined campus has hit a snag that might delay the move of two of those programs until later this fall.
The Marysville School Districts secondary options campus is slated to be built on a 40-acre parcel of land just south of Quil Ceda Elementary School on the Tulalip Indian Reservation. The unique combination involves modular buildings trucked to the site, placed around a shared gymnasium and cafeteria that would be constructed in place using traditional methods.
The campus would house the Marysville Arts and Technology High School, the Tulalip Heritage High School and the 10th Street School, a music-oriented middle school for grades six through eight.
Those last two might have to wait to occupy their space on the shared campus until after school opens as the district has hit a snag in the permitting process with Snohomish County. There is no zoning for school buildings due to their unique nature and each new structure has to get a conditional use permit, a process that takes more time. Ironically, some of the buildings for the new campus are already built and being stored at a factory near Smokey Point and the district just needs to pour some foundations and truck them in place, according to district capital projects director John Bingham.
The shared gymnasium is a 12,000-square-foot building that will be built in place and could cause much of the delay. Right now the district needs the OK from the county to start preparing the site.
The building themselves, some of the buildings are done, Bingham said. Once we get the clearing done we will start the foundations for the A&T campus.
That high school now houses about 230 students on leased property nearby on the reservation, and the district wants to get a new school built so A&T can expand to about 400 students as one of the smaller learning communities high school students will attend next fall. The district plans to accept construction bids on the shared gym soon and Bingham said building the facility should take four months. A&T doesnt have a gym right now, so planners arent sweating the issue; they just want to get the new A&T building open by next fall. That means the Tulalip Heritage and 10th Street programs will stay put until the rest of the campus is completed.
We will bring those programs in as their buildings are completed, Bingham explained. Thankfully both those programs are self-sufficient and they have run the way they are for years.
He took pains to ensure that he wasnt blaming the county for any delays, just the complexity of the process. The county has 15 days to rule on the conditional use permit from the time it is applied for and then the district will have to respond to any conditions or mitigation concerns the county might require.
All sorts of things have played into this taking more time, Bingham said. I dont think there is one thing that you can point to.
The district will go to bid on April 24 for the new Grove Street Elementary School campus, another innovation combining a stick-built core with two wings of modular buildings that should be indistinguishable from each other. Modular buildings keep the district eligible for matching constructions money from the state. The $20 million school at Grove and 67th Avenue NE will have about 54,000-square-feet and can house up to 500 students when it opens in the fall of 2008. Bingham said construction should begin in June.
The options campus is largely paid for by mitigation fees levied on new residential construction, although the gymnasium will receive about $1.3 million in matching state funds. The Grove school is largely paid for with $118 million of construction bonds passed by voters last year to build a new high school and elementary facility and other projects. Those include a $395,000 project to connect Pinewood Elementary School to sewer service, a project Bingham said is about half done. The district is building a line underneath 84th Street NE to serve the school, which is now on failing septic tanks. As homeowners connect to the line in the future the district will recoup some of the construction costs.