Expansion work to begin on BJH and SJH
Ballou, Stahl, and Ferrucci junior high expansion updates
Posted on 12/16/2019
Ballou, Stahl, and Ferrucci junior high expansion updates

The Puyallup School Board has approved a plan to expand Ballou, Stahl, and Ferrucci junior high schools. The projects will focus on additional classroom space, increased safety and security, and instructional spaces to accommodate specific program needs.

The voter approved 2015 School Construction and Facility Improvements Bond projects generated $77.5 million in state match funding through the School Construction Assistance Program.  The match funds are being used to expand Ballou, Stahl, and Ferrucci junior highs, and construction of a student services building at the Puyallup School District Support Campus.

The projects begin with Site Specific Educational Specifications used by design professionals as a narrative describing the physical environment that will support Puyallup School District’s vision for new and modernized learning environments. They are also a measure of the success of the project, once completed.

Ballou Junior High

The Ballou Junior High expansion project and the newly rebuilt Firgrove Elementary provides an opportunity for campus unity between the two schools. A master plan began to take shape in August 2016 during the design phase of the new Firgrove Elementary. The new Ballou classroom wing on the south side will look similar to the Firgrove design.

 Ballou JHThe planned view of the south side of Ballou from the Firgrove play area.

Mahlum Architects Inc. and General Contractor Garco are collaborating with the district to design the Ballou construction project to meet current educational specifications. The bidding process will begin in February 2020. Construction is scheduled for completion by fall 2021.

The Ballou project is using a General Contractor/Construction Manager GC/CM approach. This is the first project of its kind by the district and was chosen due to the complex scheduling, phasing, and coordination required with students housed in the school during construction.  The early involvement of the general contractor provides improved communication and information regarding cost, schedule, and constructability during the design development. Instead of a single bid process, the bids are held in the time frame specific jobs are needed. This will minimize the impact to students and staff. The procedures used are governed by Washington State RCW 39.10.340.

Chief Operations Officer Mario Casello says the GCCM approach will be more efficient. “It saves time and it saves money. We work through the components individually because it’s a complex project with staff and students on the construction site. We have to do the construction while students and staff are on campus, so we phase in certain portions of the project, at specific times.”

Once completed, Ballou will have:
      •  the capacity to serve 1,000 students
      •  seven new general education classrooms
      • 
a new wood shop and a computer aided design lab
      •   two additional science classrooms with a shared prep room
      •  two additional resource classrooms
      • 
a new library (the old library will be repurposed)
      • 
classrooms designed with specific needs of special education programs
      • 
an auxiliary gym with community restrooms

Stahl Junior High

The Stahl Junior High addition project is scheduled for completion by the Fall 2021. The project is currently in the design phase with architectural design firm Studio Meng Strazzara.

A Site-Specific Educational Specification process for the Stahl Junior High classroom addition began in August 2018 with the initial building conditions assessment that concluded in the Fall 2018. Weekly meetings with the planning teams occurred from Fall 2019 to June 2019. Throughout this process, the educational specification planning team explored and discussed issues related specifically to Stahl Junior High. They considered characteristics of the existing school; community and neighborhood; characteristics of the site; desired relationships of learning areas within the school; and potential roadway improvements required by Pierce County. 
Stahl Junior High
A new and different construction process will be used for the Stahl project. The addition is a modular building and it will be constructed in a warehouse in Oregon. This is significant in cost and schedule savings. What would normally take 15 months to complete can be done in 7 months’ time.

The 14,000 square foot modular classroom addition will be located on the south side of the existing school.

Casello says, “This is a different of approach. A lot of different organizations, including school districts, are doing it. They do the site work and that can save a lot of money. The warehouse builds the whole thing — all the way from mechanical to lighting.” Next, they test the whole thing, take it apart in pieces, and ship it here on trucks. Casello says the Stahl addition is 18,000 square feet which allows it to be constructed with the modular method.

“We wouldn’t do an entire campus, but it’s an efficient new approach for an addition. So, it’s kind of exciting we’re doing our first GC/CM and our first modular construction projects,” says Casello.

Once completed, Stahl will have:
      •  capacity to serve 1,000 students
      • 
nine additional classrooms
      • 
 a two-story addition
      • 
The commons, Career and Technical Education classrooms, Art, Life Skills, and Culinary Essentials classrooms will  be modernized to meet current program requirements.

Ferrucci Junior High

Ferrucci Junior High construction plans are scheduled for completion in Fall 2022. Design work will begin with Site-Specific Educational Specifications in the winter of 2020.

Current plans for the Ferrucci expansion include:
      •  capacity to serve 1,000 students
      • 
8-12 additional classrooms
      • 
 expand office and commons
      • 
bus loop expansion
      •   improvements in parent drop-off and parking areas

School safety and security

Increasing safety and security for students and staff is ongoing and continues to be in the spotlight. The expansion plan will increase perimeter security by reducing the number of outside portables and securing building access.

Increasing capacity for growth

While student enrollment between October 2012-18 has increased by nearly 2,000 students, most of the growth has been at the elementary level. Now is the time to prepare for nearly 12,000 elementary students who will advance to junior high in the coming years. 

Improving instructional space

The Educational Specifications for junior highs were updated in 2017. They reflect changes in educational programs, school capacity, and new approaches to technology. The specifications recognize other elements in the overall master plan where specialized spaces are needed for programs such as drama, art, and special education.