Three Federal Way elementary schools broke ground this week, with construction to begin in the coming weeks of summer.
The week kicked off with Wildwood Elementary’s groundbreaking ceremony on Monday, followed by Mirror Lake and Lake Grove.
“It takes an entire village to do this but it [started] with you, the citizens of Federal Way, who gave us the largest bond ever in the history of the school district,” said Geoffery McAnalloy, FWPS School Board president.
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.
Crowds of students, parents and teachers gathered this week at the various school sites to celebrate the new school milestone.
FWPS superintendent Dr. Tammy Campbell and district officials were joined by Mayor Jim Ferrell, Greater Federal Way Chamber of Commerce CEO Becca Martin, South King Fire and Rescue commissioner Bill Fuller, school board members, and City Council members as well as officials from FORMA Constructionand Integrus Architecture for the ceremonies.
Each of the new schools have been designed for the 21st century learning experience the scholars of today need, Campbell said.
The three soon-to-be rebuilt elementary schools are all more than 50 years old.
The current Lake Grove Elementary School opened in 1965; Mirror Lake, the oldest elementary school in the district, was built in 1956; Wildwood Elementary was originally built in 1967.
Construction of each school is set to begin this summer with all openings anticipated for fall of 2020.
Highlights of the new buildings mentioned on the FWPS district’s website include:
Learning Resource Center and Discovery Lab of books, computers, and opportunities for small ground and hands-on learning outside the classroom.
Each project will also maintain their independent school identity, despite the similar modernized construction design of the projects.
To increase safety at school, each new building will include secure vestibule entryways and other enhanced security features.
In the next six-to-eight years, 25% of the district’s buildings will be brand new, McAnalloy said.
“Thank you from the bottom of my heart for making sure that our scholars have the best opportunity in Federal Way.”
It was with historic and great pride the community gave the green light to approving nearly half a billion dollars in bonds for the students, said Mayor Ferrell.
“Good schools are really the foundation of our communities,” he added.
“I want you to know that the business community believes in you and what you’re doing,” chamber CEO Martin told Campbell.
“And you guys are students now,” Martin said to the Wildwood students on Monday. “But someday you’re going to be my boss.”
These newly constructed schools will outlast most of the community and will always be a connection back to Federal Way, Campbell said, whether you’re a parent, student, employee or neighbor.
“Twenty, thirty, forty years from now we may not be here,” Campbell said, pointing to Mirror Lake on Tuesday afternoon. “That school will be here, educating the future of our city. That’s the impact of bonds when you invest in the future.”