Islander Middle School. Photo courtesy of MISD

Islander Middle School. Photo courtesy of MISD

MISD launches long-range facilities planning

Public invited to outreach meetings regarding facility-related needs week of Jan. 13.

The Mercer Island School District (MISD) recently hired Mahlum Architects to develop a Long-Range Facilities Plan (LRFP).

MISD has worked with Mahlum Architects for more than 24 years. The LRFP will serve as a long-term planning guide for potential future MISD facility and grounds design, construction and maintenance work.

A broad-based facilities planning committee made up of community and school leaders will be meeting for the next several months to develop recommendations for the LRFP.

MISD is seeking input from the Mercer Island community. Two public outreach meetings are scheduled for the week of Jan. 13, where a summary of facility-related needs will be presented.

The first meeting will be held 7-9 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 13, in the Lakeridge Elementary School Library.

The second meeting will be held 6-8 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 15, in the Northwood Elementary School commons.

During the Aug. 8, 2019, school board meeting, Mahlum Architects presented its Long-Range Facilities Master Plan. The presentation stressed that community participation is key to success.

“Build the plan around real community participation to build trust,” the presentation stated. “Allow time for community outreach.”

Since the LRFP process started in August, it’s now time to conduct early community outreach meetings.

“[It] allows the broader community the opportunity to come alongside the Facilities Review Committee (FRC) in their understanding of issues being considered during the planning process, and help establish the community priorities,” the presentation noted.

Mercer Island voters passed a $98.8 million school construction bond in 2014. The bond focused on addressing capacity issues at the elementary, middle and high school grade levels. The work was completed on time and on budget, according to the district.

An overview of MISD facility overbuilds and renovations include:

■ Lakeridge Elementary, built in 1953, Island Park, built in 1956 and West Mercer Elementary, built in 1964 — each received extensive overbuilds and renovations in 1995. Northwood Elementary was constructed in 2015-16.

■ Islander Middle School, originally built in 1958 — received an overbuild and minor improvements in 1993, along with a small addition to the 300 building in 1999. In 2015, about half of the educational space was replaced with a new building that includes the commons, gyms, music wing, library, 12 classrooms and an administration office.

■ Mercer Island High School (MIHS), originally built in 1955 — received extensive overbuilds, renovations, some demolition and additions in 1996. A new music room addition was completed in 2012, and three small additions were added in 2014 to each of the classroom wings. The 2014 additions provided four STEM and six general purpose classrooms.

No significant improvements have been made to the Crest Learning Center, built in 1997, or the administration building, built in 1965. MISD also owns property on the south end of the island between Lakeridge Elementary and Islander Middle School, including the community ball fields. Additionally, MISD owns the Mary Wayte Pool, the PEAK, and other properties in the high school mega-block.

MISD anticipates the completion of the LRFP in 12-18 months. In developing the LRFP, Mahlum’s work will include an analysis of educational adequacy (including educational specifications and MISD education delivery models), a building systems evaluation, a facility needs analysis, facilitation of meetings with the school board, students, staff and the public, community outreach and public process, a gathering and analysis of board, staff and community input, a review of enrollment and population projections, and generate and provide MISD with a final LRFP report.

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