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Board takes first look at high school remodel options

Eight years and at least $100 million from now, Mount Si High School could well be the most-populated high school in Washington state. That's assuming that Snoqualmie Valley School Board members decide to pursue one of the options for a high school remodel, presented at their Dec. 13 work session.

The options, as presented by Matt Rumbaugh of NAC Architects, would both require demolition of part of the existing school building and therefore have to be completed in phases, and would both build classrooms and a courtyard on what is now the student parking lot. Each would also temporarily take over the tennis courts across Meadowbrook Way from the building, and indefinitely take over the practice softball field there, too, for parking.

Option A, all two-story buildings, allowed for more students than Option B, Rumbaugh said, and would bring the school's total capacity to 2,400 students.

"So we'd be right up there with the biggest high schools in the state of Washington," said board member Scott Hodgins.

Option A would also include a two-level parking structure on the southern edge of the school property, which is now open space. Option B, without the parking structure and single-story construction in places, would have a total capacity of 2,000 students.

Rumbaugh did not have cost estimates for either option, but said he would present that information in January after receiving board input at this meeting. Board member Marci Busby estimated the cost to be at least $100 million, and was concerned that it wouldn't meet the district's needs for the next 30 years -- school districts can receive state funding for buildings only every 30 years.

"This won't address our middle school and elementary school issues," she said. "If we took probably less money, and built a middle school for $50 million and an elementary school for 30, that would still be less, and we could still ask for a certain (amount) to make improvements at the high school."

Taking those steps and preserving the freshman campus, she said, should solve the district's capacity problems for at least the next 10 years.

The board concluded the work session to begin their regular meeting, but planned to discuss this further at a January meeting.

 

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