Public invited to forums about NE 25th Ave. elementary school

VPS is recommending that the elementary school be removed from the list of current bond projects and deferred to a future bond measure

VANCOUVER — Vancouver Public Schools will hold public meetings at five elementary schools to give the community an opportunity to provide input on the construction of a new elementary school. The elementary school, planned to be built at NE 25th Avenue south of 88th Street, was among the list of schools to be built, replaced and upgraded with funding from the February 2017 bond measure.

VPS is recommending that the elementary school be removed from the list of current bond projects and deferred to a future bond measure. Flat enrollment and rising marketplace costs have caused district staff to re-examine the rationale for building the school at this time. Operational budget constraints also are an important consideration.

Information about the recommendation will be provided at each of the following five forums.

  • Jan. 8, 6-7 p.m. –  Minnehaha Elementary School, 2800 NE 54th St.
  • Jan. 15, 6-7 p.m. – Walnut Grove Elementary School, 6103 NE 72nd Ave.
  • Jan. 27, 6-7 p.m. – Anderson Elementary School, 2215 NE 104th St.
  • Jan. 30, 6-7 p.m. – Hazel Dell Elementary School, 511 NE Anderson Rd.
  • Feb. 6, 6-7 p.m. – Eisenhower Elementary School, 9201 NW 9th Ave.

Parents, staff and community members are invited to attend the date and location that is most convenient for them. An opportunity to provide feedback will be available at each forum and on the district’s website.

In 2016, district and school staff identified a list of school facility construction needs and the estimated costs. At the time, student enrollment was projected to go up, according to studies by a local demographer. Since then new enrollment forecasts show an expected decline and flattening of enrollment. The additional classrooms this new school would provide aren’t currently needed.

In addition, increased costs have created a budget shortfall for the full scope of bond projects. Although initial cost projections were adjusted for inflation, the 6 percent increase in construction materials and labor caused by market conditions is significantly higher than expected. The initial list of bond projects must be adjusted to reflect the shortfall.

Information provided by Vancouver Public Schools.

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