A worker drills for soil samples at Lake Grove Elementary School, one of six schools in Federal Way currently in the design and planning process after voters approved a $450 million school construction bond in Nov. 2017. Photo courtesy of the Federal Way Public Schools

A worker drills for soil samples at Lake Grove Elementary School, one of six schools in Federal Way currently in the design and planning process after voters approved a $450 million school construction bond in Nov. 2017. Photo courtesy of the Federal Way Public Schools

Federal Way school district moves forward on construction projects

Voter-approved $450 million bond will fund improvements at eight total schools, plus Memorial Stadium

The Federal Way school district is moving forward with construction projects this summer to expand and renovate six aging schools.

Approved by voters in Nov. 2017, a school construction bond of $450 million was allocated to Federal Way Public Schools to improve eight total schools, including Thomas Jefferson High School, Totem and Illahee middle schools, and Olympic View, Lake Grove, Mirror Lake, Star Lake and Wildwood elementary schools, as well as improvements for Memorial Stadium.

All of the schools, except for Illahee Middle School and Olympic View Elementary School, are now in phase two of construction, which is the design and planning process.

Two construction groups have been selected by FWPS for these projects. FORMA Construction will take on Mirror Lake, Lake Grove and Wildwood elementary schools. Cornerstone General Contractors Inc. has been selected for Thomas Jefferson High School.

The four remaining school projects will follow the same process in selecting contractors, said school district spokesperson Whitney Chiang.

The community can expect to see construction groundbreaking in spring 2019 for the elementary and middle schools, followed by shovels in the dirt for Thomas Jefferson High School in spring 2020.

Although the specifics of the improvements for Memorial Stadium have yet to be determined, these improvements may tentatively begin in 2024, Chiang said.

A key step in the planning and design phases of the projects is the State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) process, which identifies and analyzes the environmental impact of each project. The district reports it has been gathering data on environmental concerns such as traffic, hazardous materials, storm water runoff and soil conditions.

“The SEPA review process is helping the district and its community stakeholders understand how the projects will affect the environment,” according to a press release from the school district.

Once the necessary data is collected, the district will prepare a SEPA checklist for each project, each of which will be widely circulated for public comment. The comments will then be reviewed and considered as part of any mitigation strategies, according to the district.

The district reports the initial checklists can be expected in the fall, and the public will be invited to review or challenge the findings.

“We are excited to be working with these construction firms with extensive school construction project experience, and look forward to building long lasting facilities that will serve our scholars, staff, families and community for generations,” said Superintendent Tammy Campbell in a press release.

The eight schools on tap for construction were originally built between 1956 and 1971. The bond will address problems such as deteriorating facilities, overcrowding and security at the schools. In total, the district has 19 buildings that are 40 years old or older.

Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing editor@federalwaymirror.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.federalwaymirror.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 300 words or less.

More in News

Jeff Duchin, Seattle - King County Public Health officer, said when considering whether to wear a mask indoors in public spaces, people should understand their risk based on local coronavirus activity and make decisions based on their own risk tolerance. (Getty images)
Should you keep masking up if you’re vaccinated?

Think about it, says King County’s top doctor.

Federal Way Public Schools image
Upcoming vaccination clinic open to Federal Way students 12 and older

Clinic to be held at Todd Beamer High School Friday, May 21.

Police tape. File photo
Auburn man charged with manslaughter in fatal shooting of 8-year-old Federal Way girl

The man, who is related to the girl’s father, faces charges of first-degree manslaughter and second-degree unlawful possession of a firearm for April 25 shooting.

Edgar Sandoval Sr., World Vision’s president and CEO. Photo courtesy of World Vision
World Vision to launch largest capital campaign ever to assist millions of people amid pandemic

Every Last One aims to raise $1 billion to offer 60 million people relief from extreme poverty.

A man walks past an emergency location mile marker along the BPA Trail at dusk on May 11. Olivia Sullivan/the Mirror
Mile markers repainted along BPA Trail for emergency purposes

Markers located every 1/10th of a mile along the 3.6-mile trail.

Executive Director Amanda Miller outside of the South King Tool Library (1700 S. 340th St. in Federal Way). Courtesy photo
South King Tool Library wins Green Globe award for waste reduction

In areas such as Federal Way, waste reduction becomes a conversation about equity, says tool library executive director.

Clockwise from top left: Alisha Saucedo, Cheryl Aguilar Henriquez, Luis Carrera-Lara, Milagros Gonzalez, and Immanuel Lee. Photos courtesy of FWPS
5 FWPS seniors named Act Six Scholars

Partner colleges to provide full-tuition, full-need scholarships over four years.

File photo
Shoplifter threatens to pepper spray employee | Police blotter

Following is a sample from the Federal Way police log May 5-11.

Most Read