On the front stepsÂ of Burien’s deteriorating Highline High School onÂ Saturday (July 23), families, residents, students and teachersÂ came together to help kick-offÂ Highline Public Schoolsâ€™Â Nov. 8Â bond. â€œNow is the time, we must join together to support our students and schools here in the Highline School District,â€ said Chuck Tuman, campaign co-chair. â€œWe have a strong plan, developed by a citizen committee, to meet the immediate needs of our district, and also plan for the future.â€ Speakers at the kick-off â€“ which was hosted by Tuman â€“ included Sen. Karen Keiser, Highline High alum Maya Mendoza-Exstrom, and Benji Box, a current student: Here’s a video of the kick-off event: [embed]https://youtu.be/g5I-e6wGkEE[/embed] More than 40 parents, community members and staff spent nearly a year studying the issues to make a recommendation to the Highline Public Schools to help alleviate the problems with capacity, security and modernization. The Capital Facilities Advisory Committee’s (CFAC) presented its recommendations to the School Board for a November 2016 bond, as well as a long-term facility plan for the future of our district. â€œIt was an amazing experience to dig deep into enrollment projections, facility needs and long-term plans and work together to come up with solutions,â€ said Susan West, Normandy Park citizen and member of the citizens’ committee. â€œI am proud of our recommendations to help meet the needs of our growing district and ensure our students are safe.â€ Highline Public Schools is a fast-growing district with several school buildings in severe need of replacement or modernization. CFACâ€™s plan outlines three phases of improvements over 15-18 years. Each phase would require a voter-approved bond to fund construction. The committee identified four top-priority problems to be solved in Phase 1:
- Elementary capacity â€“Â With growing enrollment and state funding for smaller class sizes, more elementary classrooms are needed.
- Middle school capacity â€“Â Current middle schools do not have room to accommodate growing enrollment and the addition of sixth grade.
- Des Moines Elementary â€“Â This 90-year-old school is ranked as the Highline school in worst condition in an independent survey by architects.
- Highline High School â€“Â HHS is ranked in second worst condition in the same survey.