In February 2016, Tukwila residents passed a $99.16 million construction bond for the Tukwila School District with a 68.2 percent approval.
The money is going toward safety improvements of buildings, alleviating overcrowding in schools and repair/maintain the infrastructure of the buildings, such as roofs and heating systems, according to a Tukwila School District press release.
The major projects to come out of the bond money is to add a “STEM academic wing” at Foster High School and Showalter Middle School, the release continued.
It also said it will expand core facilities several schools, like building a new Birth to Five Center for all preschool and kindergarten programs, which will alleviate crowding at the three elementary schools in the school district, along with the maintenance of the buildings.
According to Rhonda Lee, communications officer for the Tukwila School District, construction started in early January 2019, but the district has been working on the ground work since 2016 when the bond passed.
With all the construction going on while school is in session, Lee said it can be a little noisy at times.
“The construction company and all the engineering workers have been very respectful. They let us know in advance if there’s going to be any kind of disruption. But overall the disruptions are being kept to a bare minimum,” she said.
Lee said the hope is to get all the construction done within a years time, but also said there’s “always wiggle room on either side of that. But our goal is to make sure everything is done within a years time span.”
Another project the bond money is going towards according to Lee is new turf ballfields at Foster High School and Showalter.
She said the turf is being put down and then after the weather starts to get better workers will stripe the fields.
“(It) just makes it more user friendly because before there were definite upgrades that needed to happen. It’s really great to have this sort of field. It’s more durable than just regular grass and it’s expected to last for a long time,” Lee explained. “They literally had to sew it with this really big sewing machine. So it didn’t take very long considering what they had to do.”
Because of all the snow the area has been getting, Lee said that will likely be a drawback for getting all exterior construction done, but mainly the ballfields.
Lee said the issue the district is going to have to deal with is there will be no summer school this year because there will still be some amount of work being done on all of the campuses in the district.
“It’s just for our safety and for our comfort and for the convenience of trying to move things forward as quickly as possible. But there will be other accommodations being made and some of those details are still in the works right now,” she said.