Executing a plan for the future
Executing a plan for the future
Posted on 06/07/2019

The planning began in 2011 with the Citizens Facilities Advisory Committee. A final report was presented to the Puyallup School Board in January 2012. The committee recommended three phases: 2012-2016; 2016-2020; and 2020-2024.

This comprehensive master plan, referred to as the CFAC report, is the guide used to determine and prioritize long-term needs of the district in the following areas: new construction, remodel or replacement construction, program improvements, life cycle improvements, land disposition, and housing.

It is the backbone for strategic bond and levy planning — intended to prepare the district to meet educational classroom and program requirements far into the future.

And it continues to serve the community well.

History

When released in 2012, the CFAC report acknowledged a backlog of facility needs “due to the failure of the 2007 and subsequent 2009 bond and levy elections.” The district made no further attempt to ask voters to approve a bond or levy election in the next few years, due to the recession and housing market crash.

By 2012, the district has never before seen such a great backlog of needs. At that time, the board moved forward in commissioning the Bond Advisory Committee (BAC) to develop a Bond or Capital Levy package for the Puyallup School Board’s consideration for an election in the spring of 2013. A bond measure on the ballot in 2013 also failed, leaving the district with little means of executing the CFAC plan.

In early 2014, a committee of 28-members made up of parents, high school students, educators, and community members was commissioned by the school board to update the existing CFAC report, as well as prepare a recommendation for a future bond package. The committee’s work included regular bimonthly meetings that spanned a period of more than a year. The culmination of the committee’s work occurred in the spring of 2015 when committee representatives presented two similar but unique bond packages to the school board.

In February 2014, a Replacement of Educational Programs, Maintenance, and Operations Levy, and a Capital Improvements and Technology Upgrades Levy passed. This provided funding for capital projects.

By 2015, the economy improved. Student enrollment in the district increased by 1,676 between October 2012 and October 2016. More than 1,130 of that growth was at the elementary level. The district was faced with overcrowded schools, significant maintenance and improvement needs, shortages in physical capacity which limited some educational programs, and the need for significant security improvements.

In November 2015, voters approved the $292.5 million School Construction and Facility Improvements Bond measure.

The beginning: 2012-2016

Planning for the $292.5 million voter approved 2015 School Construction and Facility Improvements Bond measure package began with the CFAC report. 

The report called for Remodel or Replacement Construction:

 • Firgrove Elementary Replacement 
 • Sunrise Elementary Replacement 
 •
Northwood Elementary Replacement 
 •
Pope Elementary Replacement 
 •
Shaw Road Elementary Remodel 
 •
Ferrucci Junior High Remodel to 1,000+ student school

Firgrove, Sunrise, Northwood, and Pope elementary schools were targeted in the 2015 bond and are currently under construction. Shaw Road Elementary opened a new 12-classroom wing in fall 2017 and Hunt Elementary opened a 12-classroom wing in fall 2018. Planning for Ferrucci Junior High expansion is in the works with state match funds as a result of the 2015 bond.

Northwood ElementaryOther initiatives in the works today include life cycle improvements, support programs consolidation at the South Hill Support Campus, and technology initiatives. Puyallup Digital Learning and the Advance students will move to the support campus in 2021.

Coming soon:  2017-2020

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

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

Currently, there are 12 portables that house students at Ferrucci Junior High. At Stahl Junior High there are 14 portables where students attend class throughout the day.

Two public hearings held in July and August 2018 focused on a recommendation by the 2015 Bond Oversight Committee to use $77.5 million in state match funds. These projects will not cost taxpayers additional money. Based on state calculations, Puyallup School District has qualified for $77.5 million in matching state funds.

Future needs: 2021-2024
Implementing phase three of the CFAC: High school master plan

The school board is forward-thinking to prepare for more than 12,000 elementary students who will progress to junior high and high school in the coming years. The aging buildings were not built with today’s security concerns in mind. For example, some buildings, such as Rogers High School, have multiple entrances into the school.

A new Bond Advisory Committee was commissioned by the Puyallup School Board in April 2018. The committee met twice monthly to study educational specifications and identify critical facility needs to enhance education at Emerald Ridge, Puyallup, Rogers, and Walker high schools. The priority focus is on safety and security, classroom space, and educational programs at the high school level.

The BAC made a report outlining some possible options to the school board in May 2019. The final recommendation is expected to be made by the board in June 2019.

The CFAC Report

Bond and levy election recommendations made by the Bond Advisory Committee begins with a comprehensive review of the CFAC 12-year plan. The committee is tasked by the board to put together the next bond package which represents the most pressing needs prioritized in the CFAC Plan. The BAC considers public input, the economy, statutory requirements, financing methods, and the financial capacity of the district and its citizens in order to recommend a bond package to the board. 

The Bond Advisory Committee makes recommendations to the Puyallup School Board to assist in decision-making. Over several months of conversation, public study sessions, research, and consideration, the elected directors serving on the Puyallup School Board determine what portion of the 12-year plan will be funded as a result of the proposition placed before voters in a bond election. 

These recommendations will require reevaluation during the next planning cycle to respond to actual developments regarding demographic, economic, and program delivery issues.