Our district’s strategic plan goals #3 and #5 state that students will learn in modern classrooms equipped with the tools necessary to achieve at exemplary levels, and that we will successfully manage the current and future growth of our district. The events of the past two months show we are working extremely hard on these two goals.

Since the passage of our bond measure in February, we are off to a great start in the many facets of these construction projects. Recently, the board passed a required resolution that allows for the bonds to be sold which moves everything into motion. The pricing of the bonds will take place May 2 with final sales closing on June 4.  

With respect to replacing Yelm Middle School and Southworth Elementary, our architects are already working with building and district staff on required education specifications.  The design process is long and slow at times, but we feel we are making substantial progress.  Environmental and traffic assessments have started for YMS. Everything is coming along nicely and efficiently.  The first big site changes the community will see will be the demolition of the old maintenance yard on the YMS campus next March. The construction of the new Yelm Middle School begins when school gets out in June of 2020.  

This spring, Lackamas Elementary will receive a new, two classroom portable as its student enrollment has exceeded 300 students. The new portable must be placed prior to the construction of the safety upgrades committed from the bond measure. 

In mid-May, work will start on the stadium surface at Yelm High School. New synthetic turf and lights will be installed over the summer. The stadium will be off limits for community use until mid-August due to the construction. The work will be finished in time for fall sports.  We are really excited that our student athletes and community will be able to use this facility year round. 

We are incredibly grateful for the support from the community that allows us to provide the best facilities we can for our students. Our students deserve strong facilities, and we are excited to make that happen. We will document the progress on all these projects on our website at www.ycs.wednet.edu/construction by the end of the month.

Brian Wharton is the superintendent of Yelm Community Schools.

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