Superintendent Thanks Committee for Work Leading to 2022 Bond
Superintendent Ivan Duran asked for a round of applause at the last meeting of our community-led Capital Facilities Advisory Committee (CFAC) to celebrate the committee’s planning work and recommendations in previous years that laid the foundation for the approval of the 2022 bond in November.
“I was thrilled!” he said. “The 68.84 percent approval is the highest passage that we’ve had in recent history and speaks volumes about the community support we’ve had from across the district.”
The bond will raise funds to build new schools for Evergreen, Tyee and Pacific, as well as capital needs and site improvements.
“The work that you are doing to help make decisions about how we spend our money is very important because we still have other schools that need safe, modern environments,” said Dr. Duran.
This is slow, consensus-building and data-driven committee work that spans years. Half of the CFAC members are selected by lottery from community volunteers and half are appointed by jurisdictions, high schools and stakeholder/community organizations. The co-chairs are elected by the committee. Members request information and data they need from Highline staff and sometimes tour school sites. They make recommendations to the school board regarding future school construction bonds or priorities.
CFAC members met at the end of November and will meet again on January 25 and March 22 to continue planning and prioritizing for Highline’s future school construction needs. The committee’s current charge is to “Develop Community Recommendations for Future Facilities, including prioritizing school facilities built prior to 2000.”
At the November 30, 2022 meeting, CFAC members received an update on capital projects in progress or wrapping up.
Ellie Daneshnia, executive director of Highline’s Capital Planning & Construction team also provided an update on initial planning and timelines for all of the 2022 bond projects, including site grading expected to begin this spring in the northeast corner of the Evergreen High School campus. She shared draft plans for the phased EHS construction project. This project is phased to allow students to continue attending school in the existing buildings while a new school is constructed in the northeast corner. Later, sports fields will be added where the existing school sits.
CFAC members reviewed building condition scores for Highline’s oldest schools from the Information and Condition of Schools (ICOS) database maintained by the state Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI). Certified building condition inspectors update the scores periodically. Every six years, districts hire a certified firm to inspect and update the scores and prepare a study and survey report. The committee is receiving 2022 data.
The committee members also heard a short presentation led by CHOICE Academy Principal Mike Sita, who is an appointed CFAC member, representing Highline’s Principals Association. He reviewed an idea that has surfaced in past CFAC sessions to explore rebuilding the Woodside/Manhattan sites with a multi-school concept to serve two or more of Highline’s smaller choice or alternative schools. Members indicated interest in continuing to explore the feasibility of this idea if it enables more schools to be rebuilt more quickly or at less expense.
Members will meet again on January 25 and March 22. The January 25 meeting will focus on updated enrollment numbers and an enrollment projections report.