Timeline set for middle school construction

December 6, 2012

By Staff

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The Renton School Board has approved a timeline to construct a new middle school on the site of the current Renton Academy.

Construction is set to begin in March 2015 on what will be the district’s fourth middle school, which was made possible thanks to voter support of an April 2012 bond measure. The $97 million bond measure will fund the school, improvements to the Lindbergh High School pool and other construction costs.

The middle school is slated to open in fall 2016. It would accommodate students that are currently in second through fourth grades.

Newcastle residents won’t see a lot of work happening at the site until demolition of the old school begins in June 2014, but internally, planning for the school is already well under way, district spokesman Randy Matheson said.

Prior to demolition in 2014, the district will relocate the Renton Academy program to another site.

A group is already at work assembling the education specifications for the new school, which include determining the number of classrooms and other learning spaces, as well as the type of classes that will be offered.

Members of the district staff have also been working with architects and engineers on preliminary zoning and code issues and site surveys.

District officials are also working with school principals to form a committee comprised of parents and staff members to create enrollment boundaries for the new school. The committee is expected to work fast, completing boundary work by February 2013.

Renton School District middle schools are among the largest in the state, with enrollment at McKnight, Nelsen and Dimmitt middle schools well above Washington’s state average of 609 students in 2011. McKnight and Nelsen each had more than 1,000 students, while Dimmitt had about 950 for the 2011-2012 school year.

So, the district’s fourth middle school fills a great need for the district, Matheson said.

The new middle school does not alter high school boundaries, so regardless of where students attend middle school, once the new school opens they will still go to the same high school they would have before the school opened, Matheson said.

“It’s going to be real exciting once we start construction,” he said. “It’s exciting for the Newcastle community and the Renton School District.”

The school will be at 6928 116th Ave. S.E.

Learn more about the middle school and get updates at the district’s website, www.rentonschools.us.


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