On the front steps of Burien’s deteriorating Highline High School on Saturday (July 23), families, residents, students and teachers came together to help kick-off Highline Public Schools’ Nov. 8 bond. “Now is the time, we must join together to support our students and schools here in the Highline School District,” said Chuck Tuman, campaign co-chair. “We have a strong plan, developed by a citizen committee, to meet the immediate needs of our district, and also plan for the future.” Speakers at the kick-off – which was hosted by Tuman – 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:

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. “It was an amazing experience to dig deep into enrollment projections, facility needs and long-term plans and work together to come up with solutions,” said Susan West, Normandy Park citizen and member of the citizens’ committee. “I am proud of our recommendations to help meet the needs of our growing district and ensure our students are safe.” Highline Public Schools is a fast-growing district with several school buildings in severe need of replacement or modernization. CFAC’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 – With growing enrollment and state funding for smaller class sizes, more elementary classrooms are needed.
  • Middle school capacity – Current middle schools do not have room to accommodate growing enrollment and the addition of sixth grade.
  • Des Moines Elementary – This 90-year-old school is ranked as the Highline school in worst condition in an independent survey by architects.
  • Highline High School – HHS is ranked in second worst condition in the same survey.
“We are looking for volunteers to help us ensure people are registered to vote, have the information they need to understand our bond and then vote YES in November,” Chuck said. “Please check out our website and join us in supporting our students and our schools.” To register to vote, visit: www.vote.wa.gov For more information: ]]>

Since 2007, The B-Town Blog is Burien’s multiple award-winning hyperlocal news/events website dedicated to independent journalism.