Juanita High School
At the November 20 School Board Study Session, Associate Superintendent Barbara Posthumus, Superintendent Holmen and Executive Director of Support Services Brian Buck shared an update to Phase 2 of the Building Excellence Plan.
Thanks to our voters, LWSD construction teams have been busy this summer. Most of the summer construction projects were completed with a few finishing up in the next few weeks. All of these projects will give our students the space they need to thrive and be future ready.
For Juanita High School students, school has become a “home away from home.” For five days a week, they eat, learn and play in facilities designed with the goal of graduating future-ready young adults. The new school was completed in fall 2020 and was funded by the voter-approved 2016 bond measure.
The Juanita Ravens kicked off the 2021 football season with a win on the stadium’s new synthetic turf field on September 3 against the Inglemoor High School Vikings.
Athletes at Juanita High School will have upgraded fields to practice on when they return to school this fall for soccer, football and slowpitch softball. Construction crews are putting the finishing touches on the baseball and multipurpose fields.
In April 2019, voters approved a capital construction levy that is providing $120 million in funding, collected over six years. These funds, combined with state construction assistance funds, will provide a total of $144 million. As of March 2021, $73 million has been spent on these levy projects:
This project will rebuild and enlarge Juanita High School, built in 1971. It was included on the Long-Term Facilities Task Force recommendations to remodel and enlarge aging schools. The Task Force also recommended, based on community feedback, that the current fieldhouse be retained. The fieldhouse and pool building will remain as it is.
Contractor: Cornerstone Contractors
Square Footage: 217,000 s.f.
Capacity: 1,800 students (increase of 504)
Spaces: 36 standard classrooms plus science labs, art, CTE, special education, instrumental and vocal music, library, theater, cafeteria (total of 71 teaching spaces)
Estimated Project Cost: $145,477,000 (Includes construction costs of $82.5 million in 2016 dollars, $39.5 million in non-construction costs, and $23.5 million in expected construction cost inflation between now and the building’s completion)
Planned opening: The original plan was Fall 2021. By phasing the project, we were able to open Phase I September 2019 and Phase II in September 2020.
Remodel vs Rebuild decision
The district completed a Remodel vs Rebuild Study to determine whether to remodel the existing school building or rebuild a new school. The study was informed by a two-day workshop that leveraged the expertise of four contractor firms, architects, a commercial developer and cost estimators all experienced in school construction.
Based on this work, the academic building would be replaced rather than remodeled. The analysis shows the cost to remodel the building, including the upgrades to meet current codes and educational spaces comparable to other recent projects, would cost 1.8% less than to construct an entirely new academic building. This figure includes the cost of temporarily housing students during construction.
The analysis also showed that renovation of the existing building would result in a less efficient school given the current story and a half volume. The space would be less efficient to heat. It cannot be easily converted to two stories to gain needed additional classrooms space.
The study also showed that remodeling would result in inadequate parking considering the addition needed to accommodate more students. When the cost to replace parking is included, the cost to remodel and expand the current building would be 3.8% more than the cost to rebuild a new school.
State construction assistance
Due to its age, the school became eligible for state funds for renovation or replacement in 2001. State funds are also anticipated due to lack of classroom space at the high school level in the district overall. The district expects to receive $15 million in State Construction Funding Assistance for this project.
Juanita High School Goals and Visions:
- Create an inviting environment where students and community members feel welcome and safe
- Design socialization areas for students and staff to gather for cultivating community
- Demonstrate school culture and pride throughout that is shared with the community
- Provide a variety of functional, practical and adaptable spaces that have the capacity and configuration to take advantage of the evolution of education
- Design activated environments that inspire professions, students and community members and cultivate learning
- Design easily understood building & site organization that is easily navigable
- Create spaces that encourage student clubs, sports, rehearsals and the activity to happen as part of daily life
- Provide a healthy environment with fresh air and abundant daylight, visually connected to the exterior