Highline Public Schools recently held a community meeting about the new middle school to be built on the Glacier site in SeaTac:
This was an opportunity to provide feedback and ask questions about the early design work for the new middle school that will be constructed at the Glacier site in SeaTac.
Here is a summary of the information shared at the meeting as well as answers to some of the questions asked at the meeting.
- A successful bond resulted from a year of work by the community-led Capital Facilities Advisory Committee  (CFAC).
- School bond projects  were approved by 67% of voters in November 2016.
- E-newsletter and website  provide monthly bond project updates.
- Submit questions at the meeting or email [email protected] .
- Drawing boundaries for the new elementary and the new middle school will be part of the work of CFAC in 2017-2018 .
- Committee members plan to be ready to recommend new boundaries by spring 2018 and implement the boundaries in fall 2019 when the new schools open.
- District policy  establishes a process for naming new schools.
- The new middle school at the Glacier site will open in fall 2019.
- The former Glacier High School will be demolished this summer.
- Diana Garcia, principal, Pacific Middle School & lead project administrator
- Scott Hodgins, executive director of Capital Planning & Construction, Highline Public Schools
- Scott Logan, chief operations officer, Highline Public Schools
- Catherine Carbone Rogers, chief communications officer, Highline Public Schools
- Ina Holzer, project manager, Vanir Construction Management
- Amy Vanderhorst, architect, Integrus Architecture
Questions & Answers:
What will the new schools be named?
According to district policy , the superintendent will appoint a committee to submit a list of three to five names to the school board. Schools must be named after people or geographic features. The committee may solicit nominations of names from students and the community. They must explain why each name was nominated. The board selects the name of the new facility from the list. We will provide more information about the timeline for this process in the fall.
How is the site going to look during construction? Where are the contractors going to park?
While the existing structures are demolished and the new school is being constructed, the contractor will install and maintain temporary fencing to secure the entire site. The contractor will also be required to park all construction vehicles on site and provide temporary offices on site. The district’s contract and standard construction procedures require the contractor to follow state and local ordinances during construction that are designed to minimize the environmental impact to the surrounding community while the new school is under construction.
What are you doing about airport noise?
Our new schools meet all local, state and federal regulations for noise reduction in a commercial building near an airport. This makes our schools quieter than homes in the area. We receive reimbursement from the Port of Seattle for noise reduction measures in schools near the airport.
Will there be noise reduction outside?
The district is committed to being a good neighbor. We will work with nearby residents to address noise and visual impacts of the new school. This could include buffers, plantings and/or fencing.
What methods are being used to reach the community?
- District e-newsletter (Subscribe .)
- District website section: highlineschools.org/KeepingOurPromise 
- Mobile app notifications with auto translation
- District emails about community meetings, with Spanish translation
- Facebook and Twitter posts
- Press releases to local blogs and newspapers
- Postcards to approximately 1,000 residents closest to each site, alerting them to community meetings and website information
- Signs in the neighborhood about the community meetings
- We are open to your suggestions about how to reach out to our community. Please email Rosie Eades at [email protected] 
What resources are being used?
Communicating progress on bond-funded projects is part of the overall communication program of the school district. Resources include communications staff, electronic communication tools, social media platforms, mailing budget, and supplies primarily funded out of the district’s communications budget.
Why plan for 950 students at the new school, with five middle schools? What is the overall capacity?
The Capital Facilities Advisory Committee  recommended one new middle school at Glacier to serve 950 students. Two previous unsuccessful bond measures called for building two smaller middle schools, but CFAC members recommended one larger school would more cost-effective.We anticipate being able to serve 4,300 middle school students in Highline by fall 2019, when sixth grade moves to middle school. This move has been planned for a number of years; it provides enhanced educational options for sixth graders, allows three years to form strong staff-family-student relationships in middle school, and creates much needed capacity in our elementary schools to lower class sizes in kindergarten through third grade.
How is traffic going to flow through the site? Where will bus access and parent drop-off be located?
The design of the site is still being developed. The concept design shared at this meeting provides separate bus and drop-off areas with access from 142nd Street. There will likely be public access from 140th Place for district maintenance vehicles and public use of the play fields.
What is the district’s plan for putting sidewalks on 142nd? Will those only extend along the property line or will they extend to 24th Avenue?
The City of SeaTac will likely require sidewalks in front of the school, but the full extent of the off-site and/or right-of-way improvements is not known at this time.
Will this school be designed to accommodate students with special education needs? Will you plan the restroom locations and program spaces with their needs in mind, including ramps, more than one elevator and no stairs at the entry? Will elevators be serviced regularly and kept in working order?
We are still working on the design. The entire building will be designed and constructed to be accessible for all students, faculty and staff, in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), all local, state and federal regulations, and the district’s design standards.
There will be at least one elevator. The exact number of elevators will be determined by the configuration of the building, the international building code and SeaTac municipal codes. The district is committed to accessibility. We have an annual preventive maintenance service contract for all elevators to ensure equipment stays in working order. Elevators are inspected by the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries on an annual basis.
Will 12 buses be adequate to serve a population of 950 students?
The actual number of buses will be determined once the attendance area is approved. The final design will be able to accommodate the projected number of students and buses.
Will this school have the dual language program?
Deciding at which middle schools to expand dual language will likely happen by spring 2018. The new middle school at the Glacier site will be considered.There is work to be done before we can answer this question with certainty. Boundary review may affect final programming at the new middle school. Revised boundaries to incorporate the new elementary and new middle school into our district are expected to be decided by spring 2018. The new boundaries will be implemented in fall 2019. Read about the 2017-2018 boundary review process being led by the Capital Facilities Advisory Committee .
Will there be a career/technical education area big enough for home economics or shop?
This will be determined by the educational program, which is being developed. Our current middle school program does not include a wood or metal shop.
How is the district planning to secure the site to deter vandalism at the new school?
During construction, the contractor will be contractually responsible for securing the site. After completing the building, the district will have video surveillance of the building and grounds, as well as security fencing.
What is the school going to do about a hazardous spill at the airport?
Every school in our district has an emergency plan that includes procedures for chemical spills. Read more information about safety procedures  in the emergency section of our website.
Will there be shades on windows for lockdown?
The windows will have shades.
Will there be a garden for the students?
The site design is still being developed. There may be opportunity for garden space. Use of outdoor space for gardening is a decision for future middle school staff.
Will the community be able to use the play fields?
Yes, when they are not reserved or in use by the school.
What is the difference between middle school vs. junior high?
Junior high schools are usually for students in grades 7 to 9, and middle schools are usually for students in grades 6 to 8.