Q&A: PENINSULA SCHOOL DISTRICT TO BUY BOYS & GIRLS CLUB PROPERTY FOR NEW ELEMENTARY SCHOOL #10
1. Why not build Elementary School #10 on the Bujacich property as originally planned?
The B&GC building and land is a better alternative for School #10 than building on Bujacich Road NW, across from McCormick Forest Park. The District found that extending utilities to the Bujacich property would have been very expensive. The site is outside the Urban Growth Boundary requiring a time-consuming change in county regulations. The delay, high cost and uncertainty drove the District to search for an alternative site.
Buying B&GC property would make it possible for School #10 to open in the existing building this fall with nine classrooms, a gym and cafeteria. A new school on the Bujacich property likely would not open until 2022.
2. What is the purchase price?
The School District would pay $13 million to B&GC for the site and building.
3. What improvements will the District make at other schools?
The bond issue would create a budget to address emergent infrastructure needs at other District schools to keep students safe, warm and dry. For example, if the roof over one of our school buildings begins to leak, money in the fund would be used to repair it.
4. What if the bond measure does not pass?
District elementary schools would continue to be severely overcrowded and more so each year. The District has an obligation to educate all children. Turning them away due to lack of space is not an option. If the bond measure failed, we will be forced to consider more impactful alternatives.
5. Since the new School #10 would be so close to Discovery Elementary, will the District change school boundaries?
Specific details about the focus, enrollment process and transportation options will be worked out after the successful passage of the bond on February 12th.
6. Has the District considered buying other existing buildings rather than building new schools?
Yes. The District evaluated a number of existing buildings and have not found another with good potential to be repurposed as an elementary school.
7. Would the District sell the Bujacich property and how would the proceeds of the sale be used?
The District has not decided the future of the Bujacich property. For the immediate future, the site would remain open. The lease to PenMet Parks would continue, including the off-leash area for dogs.
8. Why does the District want to build elementary schools?
Peninsula School District’s eight existing elementary schools are severely overcrowded with more than 1,000 students today than they are designed for. And the number of kids is growing. 66 classrooms are in portable classrooms. The District is out of space, with no more room to add portables on school grounds.