District receives approximately $30 million in state funding for FWHS revamp

An architect
An architect's rendering of the new Federal Way High School.
— image credit: Contributed photo

The Washington State Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction announced last week that it was releasing $213 million to districts across the state for capital construction projects.
Of that $213 million, $29.9 million is guaranteed to be coming to Federal Way for the renovation of Federal Way High School, with an additional $3.8 million still in the picture for the district and school.
Federal Way Public Schools interim superintendent Sally McLean said the allocation of this money is a win-win for the district and taxpayers.
"We are very pleased to have the State Construction Assistance funding for the rebuild of Federal Way High School secured, because these state dollars will reduce the direct tax burden on our local taxpayers," McLean said.
Deborah Stenberg, communications director for the district, said the voters approval of the levy to fund the renovation of Federal Way High School in 2012 was key in securing these state dollars.
"We only get these dollars because our taxpayers committed to funding the project in the first place," she said. "The yes vote triggers the construction assistance funding."
The amount approved by the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction was greater than what the district had anticipated in 2012. According to Stenberg, the district was expecting approximately $27 million in state-matched funds.
Overall, the cost of the Federal Way High School renovation is $110 million. The levy passed in 2012 accounted for $60 of that $110 million. Outside of the newest round of Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction money, the district is also pulling $10.6 million, which was left over from a 2007 bond measure, along with $12.4 million in state-matched funding that was associated with that same 2007 bond measure.
Built in 1929, the current Federal Way High School shows its age. Structural problems with the building include poor plumbing, leaky roofs, inadequate lighting, extensive water damage and outdated restrooms that fail to comply with certain codes and regulations.
The building has undergone multiple expansions over the years that created a security hazard with dozens of entrances/exits, along with poor accessibility for students.
To learn more about the Federal Way High School project, visit

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