Tacoma Public Schools is set to launch a construction boom, thanks to passage earlier this month of a $500 million bond measure.
On Monday, the Tacoma School Board opted for a construction schedule that envisions the completion of 14 new and renovated schools over the next eight years.
Washington-Hoyt Elementary School will be the first, beginning this summer. Students will be housed at the empty Hunt Middle School campus during the 2013-14 school year and the renovated Washington, which includes a new addition and room for students now in the separate Hoyt building, is scheduled to open in September 2014.
The board also approved timelines for construction of the 13 other major projects included in the bond. Many of those projects will require that students move to a temporary new home during construction, but others will not. The determination depends on the size of the current school site, design of the new building and other factors.
Timelines approved by the school board Monday:
• Completion of a new building in Point Defiance Park for the Science and Math Institute (SAMI) high school, currently housed entirely in portable classrooms, by September 2015. Students will likely stay in their current classrooms during construction. Hunt will serve as a back-up site if needed.
• Renovation of McCarver Elementary and Wilson High School, to be completed by September 2016. McCarver students would move to a site yet to be determined during construction.
• Renovation of Stewart Middle School by September 2017. Stewart students would spend two years in temporary quarters at Hunt.
Both Stewart and McCarver are on city and state historic registers. The school district has promised to rebuild the interiors of both schools while preserving the exterior architectural character of both. The plan is similar for Washington-Hoyt, which is listed on city, state and national historic registers.
• Construction of a new Wainwright Elementary and a new Arlington Elementary by September 2017. Wainwright is currently closed, but district officials say future enrollment growth will require a new school on the Fircrest site. Arlington students would need to move to a site yet to be determined during construction.
• Building a new Browns Point Elementary and Mary Lyon Elementary by September 2018. Mary Lyon students would move to Hunt during construction.
• Construction of a new Birney Elementary and Grant Center for the Expressive Arts by September 2019. Grant students would move to Hunt during construction.
• Building a new Boze Elementary and Downing Elementary by September 2020. Downing students might need to move to Hunt during construction.
• Construction of a new Hunt Middle School by September 2021. The school was closed in 2010 due to low test scores and low enrollment. But district officials project enrollment growth will require a new Hunt by the end of the construction cycle.
A list of nearly 200 small capital improvement projects scattered at schools throughout Tacoma will also take place while the new schools are being constructed.