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Federal Way school bond construction ahead of schedule | Expect new stoplight on 336th Street

Construction on the new Federal Way Public Schools
Construction on the new Federal Way Public Schools 'hub' facility at South 332nd Street and 13th Place South (near Celebration Park) is part of the $149 million construction package voters approved in 2007. It will replace the current facilities located at S. 320th Street and 11th Avenue South.
— image credit: Andy Hobbs/The Mirror

Although it may not look like much yet, construction on the new Federal Way Public Schools “hub” facility on South 332nd Street near Celebration Park has been a success so far.

The facility is part of the $149 million construction package voters approved in 2007. It will replace the current facilities located at S. 320th Street and 11th Avenue South.

The as-yet unnamed facility is intended to bring together three major support buildings for the district. There will be a main warehouse, meant for a variety of things including maintenance equipment and storage. The second part is the bus garage, and the final component is the main nutrition services kitchen for the district.

“It’s been a good project for us,” said Rod Leland, facility services director for the school district. “It’s going well, it’s on budget, and on time.”

Leland said the project is a bit ahead of schedule, due to the favorable construction bid climate in the state right now. The school district was able to accelerate the building of the warehouse and combine it with construction of the new transportation facilities.

“Transportation was going to be first, and a year later this building (the warehouse building) and a year later, the kitchen,” Leland said. “That would have put us at a finish in 2013. We will finish in 2012.”

Remaining construction includes the creation and rerouting of roads near the facility. An intersection and stoplight will be installed at 336th Street and 13th Place South, Leland said. He feels the district and the contractor should be able to get through that work fairly easily.

“I expect 336th will not be a major disruption for long,” he said.

Leland said the site’s contractor, Porter Brothers of Edgewood, has been instrumental in the success of the project so far.

“The project is being managed by them in an excellent way,” he said. “I’m usually fairly critical, and I would say for this project, they’re having good fortune.”

The completion of the first two facilities will happen by October, Leland said. The district is examining options on how to reroute nearly 150 school buses once the new facility is completed, he said.

School district spokeswoman Diane Turner said the project is one the district is eager to see completed.

“I think we’re all excited about consolidating,” she said. “Especially with nutrition services, to have this hub...It makes sense.”

School bond history

Approved by Federal Way voters in 2007, the $149 million bond was aimed at rebuilding Lakota Middle School and Lakeland, Panther Lake, Sunnycrest and Valhalla elementary schools. The district’s transportation center, central kitchen and maintenance facilities will be rebuilt and relocated to an area near Celebration Park.

The bond triggered $20 million in matching funds from the state to provide improvements to 23 Federal Way schools built before 1990, with the exception of Federal Way High School. Renovations include repairs to heating, roofs and plumbing. The district planned to complete all projects by 2013.

For more information on Federal Way Public Schools construction projects, visit www.fwps.org/info/bond.

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