The Bellevue School District announced plans recently for a new elementary school on Wilburton Hill that will serve the area’s growing number of young children.
The new school, which has yet to be named, will be located next to the district’s Educational Service Center and across the street from the Wilburton Instructional Service Center.
Bellevue’s new school will draw students from around the downtown and Wilburton areas, relieving overcrowding at Enatai, Woodridge and Clyde Hill. Preliminary attendance areas for the new school were required as part of the city’s planning process, but the specific area has yet to be defined.
Between 2012 and 2014, the total enrollment in the district grew four percent to 19,186 students.
In that same time period, enrollment at Enatai and Woodridge elementary schools increased by more than 80 students. That was an growth of six and eight percent, respectively.
However, enrollment at Clyde Hill elementary dipped slightly.
The 82,000-square-foot school will have dedicated art and science spaces, and will feature green technologies similar to other new school buildings in the district. Additionally, the school will have a synthetic turf field and an early learning center.
It is anticipated that the project will go to bid next spring with construction to follow.
The permitting process for the new school is expected to be more complicated because there hasn’t been a school on the site previously, Jack McLeod, Director of Facilities and Operations, explained. Construction of a brand new school on a previously undeveloped site requires a conditional use permit from the city.
Since the site is currently undeveloped, there will be significantly more site prep work that needs to be completed before the school can be constructed, Kyle McLeod said.
The district will hold community meetings with families in 2016 to discuss the attendance areas and transition ideas for students and families. Additional community meetings will be held to continue to keep the public informed and gather on-going input and feedback.
It is currently in the planning and permitting phase and is anticipated to open in the fall of 2017.