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Project priorities, timeline shift for Lake Stevens High School modernization and expansion

If you’ve visited or driven past Lake Stevens High School (LSHS) recently you know that construction of the modernized and expanded school is steadily progressing. Construction began in June 2018, but the research, planning, budgeting and design processes started many years ago.

Since the high school is being modernized and expanded in its current location, construction has been broken into multiple phases to maximize state and local funding and to minimize the disruption to the teaching and learning process.

The scope of projects that are included in each phase of construction have been prioritized to ensure that student instructional spaces take preference over other commitments. The timeline of these projects has also changed based on a myriad of factors.

What’s changed and why?
Since project planning began in 2015, there have been numerous changes in the construction market, including a shortage of qualified laborers and escalating costs. These challenges, coupled with recent tariffs on building materials, labor strikes and weather have impacted project costs and schedule.

“We want to be very transparent with our stakeholders about these changes,” said Dr. Amy Beth Cook, Superintendent of Lake Stevens School District. “While our timeline and scope have shifted, our commitment to our students, staff and community will not be affected. A great deal of work has been, and will be done, to Lake Stevens High School to make it a learning focused, student centered, community minded campus to meet the needs of today’s and tomorrow’s learners.”

Phase One

Currently under construction
Original move-in date, Academic Building: September 2019
Updated move-in date:
Academic Building, late fall 2019
Athletic Building, late fall 2019

Phase One construction of the Academic Building is scheduled to be substantially complete in August 2019. That timeline has not changed. However, “substantial completion” does not mean that a space is ready for teaching and learning. A great deal of work has to happen before a space is ready for classroom instruction. This includes cleaning, establishing network and phone connections, installing wifi access points and classroom technology, moving in furniture and equipment, and allowing teachers time to ready their classrooms.

Currently, all LSHS teachers have places to teach. The extended timeline does not negatively impact teaching and learning.

Phase One projects:

  • A new three-story academic building for science and general education classrooms and the Learning Commons (library and student support center)
  • New athletic building, including a new gymnasium and swimming pool support spaces (reception, office and locker rooms)
  • Renovation of the 400 building for Special Education and Career and Technical Education

These spaces will be connected by a student hub with easy access to administration, attendance, counseling, cafeteria, the business office and the COVE (the student store).

Phase Two - Pool

Design underway
Construction begins April 2019
Facility opens: Late Fall 2019

Phase Two project:

  • Modernization of the swimming pool
    • Replacement of pool mechanical systems (water and air treatment and circulation) for improved air quality, guest comfort and operability of the facility
    • Resurfacing and repainting the pool liner
    • Cleaning and sealing the pool deck
    • Expanded seating
    • Additional storage

The swimming pool will be closed in mid-February through fall 2019. To maximize the amount of work that can occur during this time, and to minimize the impact to students, athletes and the community, the pool’s schedule was expedited. The high school pool is the only public pool in the City of Lake Stevens, and provides health and recreational benefits to students and the community.

Phase Three

Design underway
Construction begins: July 2020

Phase Three projects:

  • Renovate the existing main gymnasium to house a new facility for band and choir as well as a new weight room for athletics.
  • Upgrade security, communications, fire alarm and heating/ventilation controls throughout the campus
  • Modernize parts of the 100, 200, 300 and 500 buildings
  • Modernize existing bathrooms throughout the campus

Extending the Phase Three project timeline is beneficial, because it allows Lake Stevens School District to:

  • Maximize funds for the project from the state through the School Construction Assistance Program (SCAP). SCAP provides funding assistance to school districts that are undertaking new construction or modernization projects.
  • Work with the design team to fully explore, estimate and value-engineer solutions. Value engineering is used to identify and eliminate unwanted costs, while improving function and quality.
  • Utilize additional funding from school impact fees, interest and construction contingencies.
  • Complete construction of Phases One and Two.

Additional work will be evaluated throughout the project to determine available funds.

As more decisions are made, we will continue to update our students, staff members and community using our many communication channels.