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Superintendent Smith Announces Preliminary Bond Project Timeline

Staff and Community Stakeholders, 
As the passage of the bond begins to sink in, I wanted to provide a rough preview of what's to come (as many of you are already fielding questions or wondering yourselves).
Wednesday morning, the day following the elections, we began planning and preparing for the sale of the bonds on the market. We hope to have this accomplished within 2 weeks after the election is certified. Timing, interest rates, and conditions look really good for an exceptional sale. 
Following is a brief review of tentative project dates and important activities.
  • District-wide Projects:
    • We hope to get started immediately with the input, document creation, bidding, and construction, related to the various district-wide safety, security and infrastructure projects. For example, we are hoping to start this spring and summer with many of our roof projects (like Burney, Blue Ridge and Prospect Point's), Burney's HVAC, safety and security improvements, and many of the other district-wide projects identified in the bond.
  • The "Big 3" School Projects: 
    • Starting this weekend our architects will be busy on site, starting at WaHi, taking room by room pictures of every single space for their inventory.  
    • Later this month we will be begin coordinating with teachers, support staff, stakeholders and others as we refine our rough conceptual designs into formal construction documents. This work will begin immediately for WaHi, followed soon thereafter by Pioneer, and then Lincoln. This will take the better part of this winter/spring as I envision multiple meetings between faculty/stakeholders and our design team and consultants, department specific site visits to other schools (for example science teachers traveling to newly constructed schools to check out new science labs to glean ideas), and a whole lot of engineer analysis and municipal coordination.
    • As we promised during our campaign, we are going to stagger the projects. This allows us to minimize our costs in renting temporary portable classrooms, maximizes the opportunity for local contractor involvement, does not overwhelm sub contractor labor and supply pools, and allows us to carefully monitor all aspects of the construction to ensure we end up with well thought out and delivered projects we can all be proud of.
    • Because we are eligible for so much state match, OSPI requires school construction projects to adhere to strict timelines (when you can advertise for bid, when you can start construction, etc). The following is our tentative plan that meets their expectations, as well as our required phasing (please note this is just tentative at this point):
      • New WaHi Science Building bidding and permitting will begin early next school year, followed immediately by groundbreaking and construction (which will take about 10 months.) We anticipate being completed by the start of the following school year, allowing us to move into our new facility and begin work on all of the other facility upgrades at WaHi. Again, we anticipate ongoing construction, phasing, and work at WaHi to last through 2022, being completely finished on or around the start of the 2022 school year.
      • Bidding, followed by groundbreaking, will occur at Pioneer in the Fall 2020 (a few months staggered behind WaHi). We anticipate this complex and tricky remodel will take about a year and half, and should be completed around the summer of 2022.
      • Lincoln bidding and groundbreaking will being in the spring of 2021 and will be completed by summer 2022, about the same time as WaHi.
We have developed a specific bond page www.wwpsbond.org, as well as a twitter feed @bondwwps, so that staff and community can keep up to date with all of our progress.
Again, thank you so much in helping make history for our students and community. This bond will be one that will be remembered for decades to come!
All the best,
Superintendent Smith       

WALLA WALLA PUBLIC SCHOOLS • 364 South Park St. • Walla Walla, WA 99362 • Phone: 509-527-3000 • Fax: 509.529.7713

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