Washington State Superintendent of Public Instruction Randy Dorn announced Tuesday the release of more than $185 million in capital construction money, made available by the Legislature and approved by Governor Jay Inslee, to school districts throughout the state.
Locally, Tacoma Public Schools was awarded approximately $4.7 million for a construction project at Washington Elementary School. According to the project Web site, the proposed project will remodel and restore the original historic building, replace the 1949 gymnasium with new construction and add a new cafeteria, stage, gymnasium, library and classrooms. The proposed additions are in character of the school’s history. Site amenities will include a new playground with turf play field and covered play area, a bus drop off zone and on-street perpendicular parking.
Additionally, the Clover Park School District was awarded approximately $40 million construction projects at Clarkmoor Elementary School ($6.9 million), Greenwood Elementary School ($6.4 million), and Harrison Preparatory / Oakwood Elementary School / Southgate Elementary School ($26.8 million).
A total of 16 districts are ready to begin or continue work on 21 new school buildings and school modernization projects. Other school districts awarded funding include Auburn, Bellingham, Blaine, Central Kitsap, College Place, Everett, Evergreen, Grand Coulee Dam, Olympia, Ridgefield, Selah, Spokane, Sunnyside, and Woodland. Approval for funding was determined by a number of factors, including specific school district criteria regarding enrollments, assessed property values, and existing inventory.
According to Dorn, the money, coupled with nearly $366 million in local school district funds generally available by capital bonds approved by voters in communities, will bring more than $551 million into the state’s economy through school construction. “This money serves two basic and necessary functions,” said Dorn. “It helps improves our schools across the state, which helps our students. And it puts people to work, which helps the economy. I appreciate that the Legislature and Governor Inslee helped make this happen.”
The state’s school construction assistance program also includes approximately $767,000, which will fund public art allocations for new facilities.