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Highline Public Schools
15675 Ambaum Blvd. SW Burien,WA 98166

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Breaking Ground at Des Moines Elementary

It takes a village! And the village leaders came out to celebrate with Highline Public Schools as district officials, architects and project staff broke ground for a new Des Moines Elementary School at Zenith Park on June 8, 2018.

This is the second groundbreaking in Highline this year. The new elementary school in Des Moines will open fall 2019, along with the new Glacier Middle School in SeaTac. A steady drizzle didn’t dampen spirits. Thank yous rained down on taxpayers and leaders at all levels for the hard-won opportunity to build a modern learning facility.

A 700-student elementary school for kindergarten through fifth-grade students will soon take shape on the 17-acre site. Absher Construction Company will build a facility designed by Hutteball + Oremus Architecture. Des Moines Elementary Principal Rick Wisen welcomed attendees to the groundbreaking.

“Our old school served many generations. The hardwood floors echo the memories of decades of students and staff,” Wisen said. “But we won’t miss the plumbing, heating, leaky roof or connectivity issues. We are looking forward to a grand opening in fall 2019 when we can welcome all the students and staff and families to a modern school building that will serve this community for generations to come.”

Superintendent Susan Enfield thanked state Senator Karen Keiser, Representative Tina Orwall and Representative Mia Gregerson for continuing the work of funding education for all students. She also expressed appreciation to Christine Nhan, representing U.S. Congressman Adam Smith, for his support of an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act to fund noise mitigation for Highline Public Schools. The amendment clarifies that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) can provide funding for noise mitigation to schools that are outside the new noise contours of SeaTac Airport--a critical assist from the congressman to ensure the FAA can keep its promise to help the two new schools.

Port of Seattle Commissioner Peter Steinbrueck praised Superintendent Susan Enfield for her accomplishments at Highline and underlined the Port’s commitment to support and partner with Highline schools and students, including mitigation funds and Port internships for local students.

City of Des Moines Mayor Matt Pina, and four city council members took a turn with some of the first shovels of soil and added their thanks and excitement to the event: Councilmembers Robert Back, Traci Buxton, Luisa Bangs and Vic Pennington.

School Board President Joe Van thanked Rose ClarkDanielle Houle and Aaron Garcia co-chairs of Highline’s community-led Capital Facilities Advisory Committee. Clark and Houle led the planning of the successful 2016 bond measure that includes funds for the $57.8-million new elementary school.

Superintendent Enfield thanked Chuck Tuman, former chair of the Highline Citizens for Schools campaign,for his leadership in passing the bond. Current co-chairs Chad Harper and Aaron Garcia joined Tuman for the groundbreaking.

Diana Garcia, director of education specification & transition planning for Highline, introduced Architect Ingrida Sanders of Hutteball + Oremus Architecture. Sanders and Principal Wisen both expressed appreciation for the thoughtful work of the Des Moines Elementary staff and other district staff on the programming committee for the new school. They also thanked the design review committee and the naming committee.

Final Design Display Board 

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Final Project Display Board