To view/download a high-res PDF of this photo of the Olympic Interim School site, click here.[/caption] North Hill Elementary families and neighbors learned more about the plan for Highline High School to move temporarily to their neighborhood at a Nov. 16 community meeting at North Hill’s campus. District staff from transportation, security and capital facilities departments answered questions. HHS students will use the Olympic Interim School for three years while a new high school is constructed. They will attend school at Olympic from Fall 2018 to Spring 2021. The Olympic Interim School site, at 19835 8th Ave South in Des Moines (map below), is currently being renovated with funding from the November 2016 school bond. It served as the interim site for Mount Rainier High School as well as Raisbeck Aviation High School. Meeting topics included:

  • Impacts of HHS Move to Olympic Interim School
  • The transition of sixth grade to middle school in fall 2019
  • Boundary changes to accommodate the new elementary school and the new middle school
Here is a summary of information from the community meeting:

Topic:  Impacts of HHS Move to Olympic Interim School

What time does HHS start and dismiss? Start time is 7:30 a.m. Dismissal is 2:00 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 12:30 p.m. on Fridays Where will sports practices and games be? No high school games or practices will be scheduled at North Hill Elementary. Some practices will be at the Olympic site, and some will be scheduled elsewhere. Games and competitions will be scheduled at HHS for fall and winter sports in 2018. District staff are working with other districts to schedule Highline’s home games at other locations once the HHS gym is no longer available. Memorial Stadium will continue to be open throughout the construction of HHS. Will the Olympic Interim School site have school security staff? Olympic Interim School will have the same level of security staffing as exists at the HHS site now. Security staff include:
  • Campus Security Officer (CSO): assigned to HHS, remains on campus
  • School Security Officer (SSO): assigned to HHS, available to other schools in service area when needed
  • School Resource Officer (SRO): Commissioned police officer who is assigned to a specific high school campus.
Will high school students be allowed on the North Hill Elementary site? No unauthorized individuals are allowed on campus during the school day said Director of Safety & Security Randy Body. While the Olympic site is not directly adjacent to North Hill elementary, it is within the walking route of some elementary students. Staff noted Midway Elementary and Mount Rainier High School share the same property, and there have been no issues between older and younger students. Interaction will be minimal due to the difference in start and dismissal times and because all or nearly all HHS students will be bused to and from school. There may be opportunities for high school students to serve as mentors, such as in Team Read, in which high school students read to elementary students in a supervised program. District safety and security staff are available 24 hours a day to address potential concerns. To report a concern, suspicious activity, or possible hazard on district property, please call the main office at 206-631-7600, which is answered 24 hours a day, 365 days per year. Will elementary students be able to walk to school through the Olympic Interim School campus while HHS is attending school there? While the site will not be fenced off, high school will be in session, and it is best practice to keep younger and older students separated by age groupings.  Families are encouraged to find alternate routes to walk to school or to drop students off. (The contractor in charge of site renovation has installed construction fencing that allows walking access on the east side of the site for this school year.) North Hill residents suggested organizing high school or community volunteers to monitor the walking path or a walking school bus or carpool arrangement. The drawback of a volunteer system is ensuring coverage every day. District staff indicated willingness to explore the option of a designated walking path. What actions will be taken to improve traffic safety and congestion impacts? Chief Operations Officer Scott Logan said the district is working with the City of Des Moines to plan for the transition of HHS to the Olympic site. The Des Moines Police Department is involved in the planning. If possible, residents may want to avoid driving in the immediate vicinity of the Olympic site around start and dismissal times:
  • Start time is 7:30 a.m.
  • Dismissal is 2:00 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 12:30 p.m. on Fridays
A community member wondered if the school zone could be expanded, or speed cameras set up to discourage speeding. This is a City of Des Moines decision. Residents were encouraged take this idea to city staff. District staff support efforts to improve traffic safety. How many students drive to school currently? Will there be parking for students? District staff said there is limited parking on site and planning decisions will limit how many students receive a site parking pass. There is no on-street parking. Currently fewer than 100 HHS students are estimated to drive to school. How many students currently attend HHS? Approximately 1,300 students. How many school buses currently serve HHS? Director of Transportation Devin Denny said 11 buses serve HHS, although additional buses will be required to transport students to the interim school. Will there be bus transportation to the Olympic Interim School site? Yes. The majority of HHS students will be eligible for transportation to the Olympic Interim School site, except for students who live within our standard walking distance to the Olympic site and can walk to school. (All students who currently live within walking distance of HHS will be able to ride a school bus to the Olympic site.) What is included in the renovation of the Olympic Interim School site? Forma Construction is the contractor working to renovate Olympic. The work includes:
  • 23 new portable classrooms with air-conditioning
  • New paint interior and exterior
  • Upgrades to various systems
Will there be outdoor lighting? There is no plan to add lighting at the Olympic Interim School site. Will field run-off be managed? Construction site work includes creating swales to control runoff in a series of natural troughs. This work is required to offset any increase in site runoff due to planned construction work, with the addition of portables and non-porous walking surface. Who can I call if I have further questions about the Olympic Interim School site construction work? Gordon Erickson, project manager, 206-631-7510.

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