District plans two new elementary schools to meet demand

The committee will present its recommendations, which includes two new schools to the school board directors at a public meeting planned for 5:30 p.m., Wednesday, May 27.

This image shows the potential site f a new elementary school.

The next 10 years could see two new elementary schools built in the Renton School District. That’s if school board members vote to put a new bond before Renton voters and voters approve the February 2016 measure.

A committee of community members, district staff, city and civic economic developers and planners and others recently completed work on the district’s construction project needs. The committee will present its recommendations, which includes two new schools to the school board directors at a public meeting planned for 5:30 p.m., May 27.

The district is looking at putting this school construction bond measure on the Feb. 9, 2016 ballot for voter approval.

Recently district officials hired a demographer to create enrollment projections for the next decade. The results found that there will be more than 19,000 students enrolled in the district by 2024. Currently, there are more than 15,000.

The new schools could be built on land that the district already owns. The committee is proposing one elementary school be built at the current site of Sartori Education Center in north Renton and at the property adjacent to the Secondary Learning Center in the Skyway neighborhood.

What does this mean for the future of middle and high schools in the district?

The planned new middle school addition and the district’s current middle and high schools will be large enough to accommodate future populations, according to Randy Matheson, district spokesperson.

The demographer only created projections as the district revisited the boundaries for the new middle school.

“So his work wasn’t specific to the plan to request two new elementary schools,” Matheson said via email, but he assures that the new middle school will be big enough.

Recently Porter Brothers Construction won the bid to build the new middle school and construction has begun on the site. It is the same construction company that built the award-winning Meadow Crest Early Learning Center. The new middle school is scheduled to open fall of 2016.

The district’s high schools are also said to have enough space for future students.

“We believe we currently have space at high schools to accommodate school populations,” said Matheson. “We will continue to track and monitor student enrollment to ensure we’re ready to accommodate future growth.”

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