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Frequently Asked Questions

This information will be changing as the project progresses.

Construction FAQs

When will construction begin?

Construction will begin at Apple Valley in April after the permitting process is complete. Summitview construction will begin 3 months later in July.

Why will construction at Summitview begin after Apple Valley?

Based on the amount of the West Valley School bond our projects are partially dependent upon state match money. We are able to fully execute Apple Valley without state match and begin as soon as we are through the permitting process. However, due to the OSPI SCAP (School Construction Assistance Program) state match process we can not sign a contract for the full construction on Summitview until we have written approval after the budgets are approved by the state.

Will there be an opportunity to salvage items at the Apple Valley and Summitview site?

Salvage requests must be received by October 31 2019, to be considered. Email requests to buildingourfuture@wvsd208.org. Due to the presence of hazardous materials in some areas of the Apple Valley and Summitview site not all requests can be accommodated.

What is abatement?

The process of abatement includes assessment and reduction of contaminants on the construction site. Experienced professionals will take proper measures to safely clear the site of hazardous materials before demolition begins.

What will the be the height of the new buildings?

The majority of the roofline on the new buildings will be 36 feet. The main entry vestibule will extend slightly above 36 feet.

Will there be changes in the landscaping elevations at the Apple Valley and Summitview site?

The project team is working hard not to make any adjustments to the landscaping elevations. The berm at Summitview will remain. Some areas of grass may be replaced with bark and plant materials. Updates will be made as the plans are further developed.

Will there be more parking at the new buildings?

The parking at the new buildings will more than double. There will also be a separate parking lot for staff and bus drop off.

What is a D-form?

The primary documents that form the basis of any agreements between OSPI and the school districts receiving state assistance through the School Construction Assistance Program are the "D-form" documents. The State School Construction Assistance Program assists local school districts with their facility construction requirements. For OSPI D-forms click here.

Background

Why didn’t the District consider starting construction at Apple Valley in the area behind the current school as suggested by the public during the bond?

This was a suggestion brought up in preliminary meetings with the project management team when they were hired in April. After reviewing the site and the construction plans, the project management team recommended against constructing the new school with the children on site for a number of reasons:

  • The number one concern was safety of the children attending school on an active construction sight.
  • The project managers believe the best location on the site for the new school may be where the current one is located.

About the Freshman Campus

Will portables be used?

Updated Information as of 9/12/19:

Three portable buildings were successfully relocated to the Freshman campus. The three buildings house six classrooms.

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Yes—three portable buildings equaling six portable classrooms will be moved to the site. The County has allowed for the portables to be placed on a temporary basis during construction activities, which will reduce the placement costs.

What is the cost to ready the Freshman Campus?

Updated Information as of 9/12/19:

The major cost to ready the Freshman Campus was the expense of relocating three portable buildings. There were also expenses associated with facilities summer help and moving supplies such as boxes.

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This is considered a temporary placement, so most of the accommodations will be temporary in nature. Step stools will be provided to access toilets, sinks and drinking fountains. Appropriately-sized desks and chairs will be provided. Costs are expected to be minimal as most equipment will come from the current schools.

Where is recess going to occur?

Updated Information as of 9/12/19:

Recess is being held on both the football practice field and the soccer field.

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Classroom activities, programs, and curriculum will remain the same as in the current school facilities. Elementary students will still be provided recess. The District is considering the football practice field and soccer field for outdoor recess, and the main gym for indoor recess. The elementary schools are working on master schedules and will determine recess usage and coverage.

Can playground equipment be moved?

Updated Information as of 9/12/19:

The pieces of salvageable playground equipment at Apple Valley and Summitview, that can be safety moved, will be considered for use at our other elementary schools, where it can be permanently installed.

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Because of the expense of temporally relocating the playground equipment it can not be moved to the Freshman Campus. Play equipment like balls, jump ropes, and other portable games and activities will be provided. The Facilities Department is working on a plan to install basketball hoops, tetherball courts, and painted playground games in a safe area at the Freshman Campus. The important thing is that children will be given adequate room to run, play, and be with friends just like they do at their current schools.

Will the schools remain separate?

Yes, each school will be able to maintain their autonomy.

What will the lunch schedule be?

Updated Information as of 9/12/19:

Apple Valley and Summitview have separate and staggered lunch periods.

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The lunch schedule for next school year is still being developed District-wide.

How will activities be scheduled?

Updated Information as of 9/12/19:

Apple Valley, Summitview and the High School are going through the proper facility use protocol to ensure nothing is double booked

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Activity schedules for next school year are still being developed District-wide. Summitview and Apple Valley will communicate on scheduled events.

How will transportation work?

Updated Information as of 9/12/19:

Pick-up locations near the Apple Valley and Summitview buildings have been established and children who typically walk to school can now be bused. Buses deliver students in the bus zone at the front of the building in the morning and load students in the bus zone in the afternoon. There is no parking in the bus zone. Families are strongly encouraged to bus their students to and from school.

The combined campus is open at 8:35 in the valet style line on the east side of the building near football field. There is NO PARKING for parents exiting their vehicles in the line. Parents enter from the west near the soccer field and follow the line to the drop off/pick up area at the back of the building. A staff member assists child exiting or entering the vehicle. Children may only exit or load a vehicle on the driver’s side. Once unloaded/loaded, parents exit onto Zier Rd.

Parents are only allowed to park and escort their child to and from the building for arrival and dismissal if they have parked in the High School parking lot. Parking during school hours is allowed for meetings and appointments. There is more parking in the back of the auxiliary gym.

The transportation procedures are designed to serve the large population at the Freshman Campus safely and efficiently.

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Bus routes and schedules for the next school year are still being developed. We have discussed developing pick-up locations near each current school for children that typically walk to school.

How will the move affect traffic flow?

The effect of moving the elementary students to the freshman campus on traffic is still being considered.

How will the move affect after-school activities?

Updated Information as of 9/12/19:

Apple Valley, Summitview and the High School are going through the proper facility use protocol to ensure nothing is double booked.

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After-school activity schedules for next school year are still being developed District-wide. High School activities will continue as normal.

Will this affect class size?

While some classes may share space and occasionally have joint programming, the student to teacher ratio will be maintained. Two classes, each with their own teachers and students may share one larger classroom and work together or be separated by a partition if necessary.

How will latchkey work?

Updated Information as of 5/31/19:

Latchkey has determined there will be space for 10 additional students next year.

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Latchkey is continuing to review the facilities for movement to the Freshman Campus.

How do teachers move their stuff?

Updated Information as of 9/12/19:

Teachers have successfully moved their classrooms with assistance from the Facilities and IT departments.

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The District will work with the principals and teachers at each of the schools to set up their temporary classrooms and make their space comfortable, welcoming, and familiar.

Can we use crossing guard kids?

Updated Information as of 9/12/19:

Both Apple Valley and Summitview have trained 4th grade patrol students that will start supporting in the parking lot by the end of the September.

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It is too soon to say if this program will continue in its current form at the freshman campus. Some form of the program may be developed for student participation.

How will parking work for sports practice and games?

Updated Information as of 9/12/19:

High school events occur in the evening and parking will be available. No High School students are allowed to park at the Freshman Campus until after 4 PM. The West Valley Athletic Director is in contact with visiting districts regarding parking and drop off of athletes.

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District is still developing the traffic and parking plan. More information will be made available as planning progresses.

High school kids and elementary kids in shared spaces?

The schools will take advantage of the proximity and plan to develop opportunities and programs where high school students could mentor our elementary students.

Other FAQs

What will the bond pay for?

The West Valley School District Facilities Committee—including members of the public, parents, and WVSD staff—has recognized the need to replace two elementary schools with buildings that provide capacity for up to 550 students.

The bond committee has voted to recommend a twenty-year bond to build two new schools—each with a 550-student capacity—to replace the current Apple Valley and Summitview schools. The total cost of the projects is 70.9 million—with the bond funding 59 million and state matching funds funding 11.9 million. These costs include a 2% program contingency (the contingency is for unknown expenses like unmarked utility relocations, road improvements, or drainage mitigation, adding $0.02 to the cost per thousand of the bond. Leftover funds could go back to taxpayers and the contingency helps ensure the voters get exactly the capacity and facilities they approved) and includes $500,000 for bond issuance costs.

This is an approximate $.95 increase per $1,000 of home value.

See the News section of this site for regular updates.

Why these schools?

What are the costs?

The bond committee has voted to recommend a twenty-year bond to build two new schools—each with a 550-student capacity—to replace the current Apple Valley and Summitview schools. The total cost of the projects is $70.9 million—with the bond funding $59 million and state matching funds funding $11.9 million. These costs include a 2% program contingency (the contingency is for unknown expenses like unmarked utility relocations, road improvements, or drainage mitigation, adding $0.02 to the cost per thousand of the bond. Leftover funds could go back to taxpayers, and the contingency helps ensure the voters get exactly the capacity and facilities they approved) and includes $500,000 for bond issuance costs.

This is an approximate $0.95 increase per $1,000 of home value.

See the News section of this site for regular updates.

How will this affect my taxes?

The number one priority of the bond committee is to keep costs down and address the oldest, least functional schools first.

The bond committee has voted to recommend a twenty-year bond to build two new schools—each with a 550-student capacity—to replace the current Apple Valley and Summitview schools. The total cost of the projects is 70.9 million—with the bond funding 59 million and state matching funds funding 11.9 million. These costs include a 2% program contingency (the contingency is for unknown expenses like unmarked utility relocations, road improvements, or drainage mitigation, adding $0.02 to the cost per thousand of the bond. Leftover funds could go back to taxpayers and the contingency helps ensure the voters get exactly the capacity and facilities they approved) and includes $500,000 for bond issuance costs.

This is an approximate $.95 increase per $1,000 of home value.

What is capacity right now and what is the projected enrollment?

Currently, WVSD schools have 5,488 students. By 2023, it is estimated that WVSD will have 189 more elementary students than classroom space to serve them, or more. Eight schools are already over capacity.

See About Our Schools for more detailed information about each school.

Why not portables?

Portables are temporary solutions for long-term capacity challenges. The district currently has 23 portables. There are 6 portable classrooms at Apple Valley and 4 at Summitview Elementary. All of these portables are "dry" with no running water or restrooms, so students have to leave the portable and go outside to the main building to use the restroom.

Portables make our campuses less secure by adding multiple entries and exits with many students outside of the main building, and they also push our schools’ interior spaces (cafeterias, gyms, libraries, music rooms, etc.) beyond their capacity. In addition, portables add transition time for students moving from classes and activities, decreasing total instruction time.

Safety and quality education are paramount—portables compromise safety and do not adequately serve our students in the long-term.

How were the buildings analyzed?

In 2014, a statewide audit of all public school buildings was issued, and a local architecture firm of facility experts went through each school in Yakima analyzing buildings’ physical condition and functionality. Functionality is assessed by measuring adequate classroom space in comparison to the demands of the schools’ programs. Physical status is determined by the firm’s assessments of the building’s condition.

Five of the six elementary schools were assessed to be in poor physical condition. These schools have not been renovated for 25 years or have had little to no renovations since their construction.

Three of the six elementary schools assessed at Poor or Unsatisfactory for functionality. One example is that at Apple Valley, two of the teachers are using the stage as classroom space at different times of the day. Without adequate classroom space, we cannot give students the best learning environment.

See the assessments here.

What about the last bond?

The last bond, which passed 12 years ago, primarily served our growing high school.

Moreover, the last bond for an elementary school was last passed in 1993, and we’re nearly 20 years behind in infrastructure improvements.

In spite of community growth far exceeding the 2004 projections that the 2006 high school construction bond was based on, the high school has capacity and should allow the campus to continue to meet increasing enrollment into the foreseeable future. Both the high school and freshman campus buildings were assessed as being in “good” condition and we expect them to continue to meet our community’s needs, as planned.

What is the district doing to save money?

The district has actively sought out opportunities to take advantage of different tax savings, continually reviewing and improving our financial position, which has saved the district 5 million dollars without extending debt.

How long does the bond last?

The previous bond, which funded the high school, will be fully paid in 2025.

The forthcoming bond to improve multiple schools, if passed, will be paid in approximately 20 years, to be further calculated by our financial advisors.

What about non-resident students?

WVSD’s policies prohibit out-of-district students from attending WVSD schools unless given special approval based on space availability. Of the 5,311 total WVSD students, 61 are out-of-district elementary students—nearly a third of which are children of district employees. The others are allowed only after all WVSD students are placed and only if classroom space is available. These students need to reapply as out-of-district students each year and are only placed in classrooms when space allows. The projected growth does not factor in additional capacity for out-of-district students.

Are there tax exemptions?

Exemptions may be granted to seniors and individuals with disabilities meeting certain eligibility requirements (household income, age, disability). Call the Yakima County Assessor’s office for more information at (509) 574-1100.

How does the bond affect me?

When our schools are strong and can keep up with schools' evolving programs, our students are supported and thrive. And the community as a whole reaps the benefits. Direct benefits to the community members, regardless of whether their children attend, include public gymnasium space and classrooms that are available for community education and gatherings.

Multiple studies have found that “when school facilities are clean, in good repair, and designed to support high academic standards, there will be higher student achievement, independent of student socioeconomic status.” And strong students, as adults, become an asset to the economy. Studies found that "school construction had substantial positive effects on home prices in affected neighborhoods, and led to increases in the population of families with children attending public schools” and that "physical condition of public school facilities and the availability of resources, including technology, impact teachers’ job satisfaction,” which affects teacher retention overall.

But there are indirect benefits for the community as well—in a study published by the Journal of Urban Affairs, “researchers discovered a strong correlation between community satisfaction and quality schools. The better the schools (as people perceive them), the more satisfied people are with their communities—and this is true whether they have children attending them or not. This positive relationship holds even after the researchers controlled for other community and individual characteristics, suggesting, they write, that ‘public school quality uniquely contributes to community satisfaction’ above and beyond other common explanations, such as high rates of homeownership or job availability.”

Sources:

https://psmag.com/education/public-schools-good-for-people-without-kids-too-40004

http://www.nhcs.net/wordpress/timmarkley/2014/10/22/the-research-on-school-bonds-experts-say-there-are-significant-benefits/