Elementary School Construction Projects

Voter Approved Construction Projects

Ellensburg School District is thankful for the community's support in passing our Bond. We know it will have a positive impact on our community and the students we serve. This is why we are so committed to keeping the public informed of all aspects surrounding the Bond. Bookmark this page and be kept up-to-date as we watch our community grow.

This site provides the most up-to-date construction information on Ellensburg School District construction projects. If there is any information you would like to see but cannot find, please email construction@esd401.org.

Guiding Principles

Image / Identity
  • Honor the history of the Ellensburg community
  • Honor the diversity of cultures and traditions in the region
  • Connect to the outdoors and nature, capture views of the surrounding natural environment
  • Use the community and university to provide learning and literacy richness
  • Highlight regional industry (alternative energy, agriculture, local business)

Outdoor Learning / Play

  • Include intentional outdoor spaces that foster learning and creativity
  • Integrate elements of play throughout the site and building
  • Design outdoor spaces to be flexible with a variety of areas for exploration and discovery
  • Foster a sense of stewardship for the environment

Maintenance & Durability

  • Provide enduring material for evolving education solutions
  • Design for an abundance of natural daylight, passive solar, and view
  • Create adaptable spaces to ensure future use
  • Provide a variety of easy to maintain materials and textures

Community Use & Evolving Trends

  • The entire community should be welcomed and invited to utilized the school
  • Provide flexibility for both learning and community activities
  • Provide intentional Student-centered spaces
  • Design adaptable spaces and infrastructure for changing educational models and community needs
  • Represent the community’s values of stewardship


The construction delivery method will be the General Contractor/Construction Manager (GC/CM) model. This method allows for the School District to hire one contractor who will team with the School District and the designers to provide their construction expertise through the design, permitting, and construction phases which was completed April,  2019.

The project has some demanding features that will need the contractor’s input including required coordination with existing utilities and local, state, and federal agencies.  Issues that will need to be addressed after Schematic Design include:

  • Cost impacts for scheduling and feasibility
  • Good/safe access for public/student/staff and construction worker safety
  • Integrating new and existing site utilities on adjacent sites
  • Maintaining service access for existing site and building components
  • Maintaining services and access to adjacent public and private spaces/residences
  • Finding and using the best combination of local and regional source for labor and materials

Mt. Stuart Elementary School

New Elementary School

Lincoln Elementary School

New Elementary Schools

  • Build a new 500-student elementary school on District-owned property near Mt. Stuart Elementary
  • Build a new-in-lieu 500-student Mt. Stuart Elementary school on existing Mt. Stuart Elementary property
  • Seek continual feedback from the community on the school's design throughout the planning phase

Expansion & Renovation

  • Add classroom, gym, and cafeteria space to Lincoln Elementary increasing capacity and restoring hallways and storage spaces to their normal uses
  • Eliminate the use of portable buildings, regaining learning time lost during transitions and improving security

Maintenance & Safety

  • Address maintenance and safety concerns at Mt. Stuart and Lincoln Elementaries, including parking and traffic improvements, secure entrances, and HVAC upgrades
  • Make seismic improvements to bring Lincoln Elementary up to code


What is the capacity vs. enrollment at each elementary school?

Lincoln Elementary: 350* / 512**

Mount Stuart Elementary: 350* / 472**

Valley View Elementary: 370* / 561**

475 students over capacity

*based on classroom size

**as of June 2018

What are the major limitations in each building TODAY?

  • Multiple portables need fencing around them for security purposes
  • Cafeteria size is over capacity
  • Food service capacity for making meals
  • Specialist schedules adapted (music, library, gym, art about every other week)
  • Playground size
  • Lack of gym space
  • All classroom space has been utilized
  • Closets are being used as classroom space
  • Some teachers must use carts to deliver instruction to students
  • Gym classes are not meeting state requirements for weekly PE class time
  • No air conditioning (Lincoln and Mt. Stuart)
  • Crowded playgrounds
  • More people have had to be hired for playground supervision

What are enrollment projections?

  • Enrollment increase started with a large kindergarten class during the 2013-14 school year
  • Since that time, kindergarten enrollment continues to come in at 250+ students
  • 17%+ increase in enrollment over the last five years
  • This is an average increase of approximately 30 students per year in comparison to typical enrollment
  • Students continue to transfer into the district at all grade levels

What has been done with the buildings thus far to help the needs of our elementary learners?

Building Configuration

  • Four portable classrooms at Valley View
  • Two portable classrooms at Mt. Stuart
  • Two portable classrooms at Lincoln
  • Converted auxiliary space to classrooms
  • Displaced intervention programs (Title, Highly Capable) for additional classrooms
  • Increased seating capacity in cafeterias

Lincoln Elementary School

  • Four classroom teachers
  • Additional Intervention teacher
  • Part-time specialist
  • ½-time Assistant Principal
  • Additional Paraprofessional support
  • Incorporated Counselor in Specialist rotation
  • Adapted Specialist schedule

Mt. Stuart Elementary School

  • Five classroom teachers
  • ½-time Assistant Principal
  • Part-time Specialist
  • Additional Paraprofessional support
  • Incorporated Counselor in Specialist rotation
  • Adapted Specialist schedule

Valley View Elementary

  • Five Classroom teachers
  • Assistant Principal
  • Part-time Specialist
  • Additional Paraprofessional support
  • Math Lab Specialist
  • Incorporated Counselor in Specialist rotation
  • Adapted Specialist schedule

Why not just add more portable classrooms?

Portables do not provide secure or controlled entrances, compromising the safety of our elementary students.

One of the things often forgotten is when we add portables to a building, the common areas of a building (offices, music rooms, counseling, gym, cafeteria, bathrooms) are built for a certain internal capacity. What happens when we add portables, then, is that the internal capacity cannot best meet the needs of learners.

Number of current classrooms in portables: Lincoln, 6; Mount Stuart, 8; Valley View, 10

What renovations are needed at Lincoln and Mt. Stuart Elementary schools?

Originally, the plan for Mt. Stuart Elementary School was to renovate by adding a new gym and classrooms, increasing the capacity from 350 to 500 students. Additionally, the plan was to add a secure entrance to the front of the school so visitors would not enter the school into the main hallway. The cafeteria was to be expanded to accommodate more students. The HVAC was to be installed so that students can stay in school during smoke season. The addition of a new pitched roof was to be installed to rectify leaking issues and to make room for critical treatment and air handling systems. The drop off for parents was to be separated from bussing to improve student safety. Other critical maintenance issues will be addressed.

Now, with the new-in-lieu plan rather than renovation, all of the above mentioned issues are being addressed with a brand new building. The design of the new building incorporates capacity for 500 students, a secure entrance, an enlarged gym/cafeteria area to accommodate the new student capacity, an efficient HVAC system, and a parent drop-off/pick-up zone completely separated from the buses. Parents will enter and exit on the front side of the building via Cora Street while bussing will be completely located on the back side of the school and accessed via 15th Avenue.

While continuing to build on the history and heritage of Lincoln Elementary and protecting our investment in the building, the following renovations are planned. Lincoln Elementary School will add a new gym and classrooms, increasing capacity from 350 to 450 students. The cafeteria will be relocated and expanded with a bigger kitchen and eating space for students. Seismic issues will be addressed to bring the school up to code. ADA issues will be addressed, including leveling floors and installing an elevator. Parking will be expanded at the front of the school. HVAC will be installed so that students can stay in school during smoke season and to rectify temperature issues on second floor classrooms. Other critical maintenance issues will be addressed.

What is the capacity and location of the proposed new elementary school?

The proposed new school will be built on the 29 acres north of Mt. Stuart Elementary School, which our school district purchased in 2018. Capacity at the new elementary school will be 500 elementary students.

What is a Developmental Preschool? Is it required?

A Developmental Preschool is a service for students with special developmental needs. We are required to have the program and have housed the program at CWU for over 15 years. The Developmental Preschool will be located at Mt. Stuart Elementary.

How much do we pay in rent to CWU for Developmental Preschool and Excel Alternative High School?

$43,000 per year for both programs.

What is the cost of the project?

What is the difference between a bond and a levy?

Bonds are for building, levies are for learning!

A levy is a local tax. It supplements the general fund which pays for operational costs of the school district such as salaries, benefits, utilities, fuel costs, supplies, equipment, athletics, extracurricular activities and special programs. Levy dollars cannot be used for renovation or construction costs. A levy requires a simple majority voter approval (51%) and can be approved up to a four-year term.

Levies are raised from property tax and the levy rate is expressed in terms of dollars per thousand dollars of assessed property value. For example, a home assessed at $200,000 with a voter approved levy of $2.00 would equal $400 per year in taxes. ($200,000 / $1,000 X 2.00 = $400).

In Ellensburg, our local school levy makes up 17.3% of our total revenue, the state contributes 75.3%, and federal 5.4%. The last 2% of our revenue is driven from local resources donations, grants, fees and fines.

A bond is voter approved debt that funds construction and renovation projects that levies, by law, cannot fund. You can think of a bond like a home mortgage, with long term payoff plans and low interest rates. A bond requires a 60% voter approval and can have a re-payment plan structured up to 40 years.

What is state assistance? How does it apply to this bond process?

We will receive approximately $8,000,000 in state assistance regardless of which option we choose. State assistance helps reduce the tax burden of the voters by supplementing the bond through state funding. This comes with many "strings" attached. The committee discussed this at length; if you'd like to know more, the videos are available.

How will this impact my taxes?

With the recent McCleary decision ordering the state to fully fund K-12 public schools as required by Article IX of the Washington Constitution and capping local levies at $1.50 per thousand of assessed value, and the high school bond being paid off in 2021, this bond will result in NO INCREASE to the local tax rate.

Local taxes are based on assessed property value. Due to the McCleary decision, in 2019 the school district local levy, known as the education and operations levy (E&O), is now limited to $1.50 per thousand of assessed value. In 2017, the E&O levy was $3.47 per $1,000 of assessed value. This year, the E&O levy is $2.74 per $1,000 of assessed value. As mentioned, in 2019 that will be limited to $1.50, allowing us to renovate and build without an increase in the local tax rate to our community.


How can I get more information?

We are here to answer your questions about the bond, existing and planned facilities, enrollment, tax rate or anything else you’d like to discuss.

Use the form below to reach us and continue to check this site and our Facebook page for updates and public forum information.

Papers & Resolutions

UTGO 2019 Official Statement

Resolution No. 17.07.19 - Certifying that per Board Policy #6920, the Board has reviewed and approves of the Schematic Design, prepared by Integrus Architecture, for the New Elementary School and New Mt. Stuart Elementary School assuring that the new facilities are readily accessible to, and usable by, individuals with disabilities.

Resolution No. 11.03.19 - Certifying that new facilities identified in the project application (Form D-3) submitted to the Office of modernizing existing facilities, and that the existing facilities will be demolished, or will not be used in the future for instructional purposes or be eligible for future state financial assistance

Resolution No. 08.03.19 - Relating to capital improvement projects and use of the General Contractor/Construction Manager alternate public works contracting method and for providing for other matters properly related thereto, all as more particularly set forth

Resolution No. 07.03.19 - Declaring and directing that certain state and local circumstances should cause alterations to the specific expenditures from the District's general obligation bonds and State of Washington financing assistance originally authorized in Resolution No. 06.10.18

Resolution No. 05.02.19 - Consider whether state or local circumstances should cause alterations to the specific expenditures from the District's general obligation bonds and State of Washington financing assistance originally authorized in Resolution No. 06.10.18

Resolution No. 06.12.18 - Relating to the acquisition of certain real property; and providing for other matters properly related thereto, all as more particularly set forth

Resolution No. 03.11.18 - Recertifying to the Board of County Commissioners of Kittitas County, Washington and the Superintendent of Educational Service District No. 105, the amount of excess property taxes to be levied in year 2018 and collected in year 2019 for the District's Debt Service Fund

Resolution No. 02.11.18 - Relating to contracting indebtedness; providing for the issuance, fixing or setting parameters with respect to certain terms and covenants, and fixing the form of not to exceed $59,500,000 aggregate principal amount unlimited tax general obligation bonds, in one or more series, authorized by the qualified voters of the District at a special election held therein pursuant to District Resolution No. 06.10.18

Resolution No. 06.10.18 - Providing for the submission to the voters of the District at a special election to be held on November 6, 2018, in conjunction with the State General Election of a proposition authorizing the District to issue general obligation bonds in the principal amount of no more than $59,500,000 for the purpose of paying costs of constructing a new elementary school and expanding and renovating Mt. Stuart and Lincoln Elementary schools.

esolution No. 01.10.18 - Certifying to the Board of County Commissioners of Kittitas County, Washington and the Superintendent of Educational Service District No. 105, the amount of excess property taxes to be levied in year 2018 and collected in year 2019 for the District's General Fund, Debt Service Fund and Capital Projects Fund

Resolution No. 04.04.18 - Relating to the acquisition of certain real property; authorizing the Superintendent and Secretary to the Board to negotiate and execute a purchase agreement for the acquisition of the real property; and providing for other matters properly related thereto, all as more particularly set forth

Meetings & Presentations

Community Meetings

Three community meetings were scheduled to be held at Morgan Middle School Library in the coming weeks. The Ellensburg School District Board of Directors and Administrators want to hear from you regarding your expectations and desires as a community at the new Mt. Stuart Elementary and the new elementary school.


Meeting Agendas & Minutes

School Design Committee

Comprised of teachers, staff students and members of our community, Design Committee served to help guide the vision for our new elementary school. We appreciate the voice and perspective these folks brought to the discussion table. Meetings took place at Morgan Middle School in the library from 6-8:00 pm. Dates for the meetings were: January 30th, February 12th, February 26th, March 14th, March 26th and April 11th, 2019. These meetings were open to the public.

Public Hearings

Public Hearing 2019.09.18




NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that the Board of Directors (the “Board”) of Ellensburg School District No. 401, Kittitas County, Washington (the “District”) will hold a special meeting on September 18, 2019, starting at 7:00 PM, or as soon thereafter as possible, in the auditorium at Valley View Elementary School, 1508 E. 3rd Avenue, Ellensburg, Washington 98926. The purpose of the special meeting is to conduct a public hearing to: (a) consider whether certain state or local circumstances should cause alterations to the specific expenditures from the proceeds of the District’s general obligation bonds and State of Washington financing assistance originally authorized in Resolution No. 06.10.18, as amended by Resolution No. 07.03.19, to permit the District to construct the two new elementary schools as Grades K-2 and 3-5, on or near the existing site of Mount Stuart Elementary School (the “Alterations”); and (b) receive public testimony. If the Board determines that the Alterations are in the best interests of the District, the Board may, at a future public meeting, adopt a new resolution or amend Resolution No. 06.10.18, as amended by Resolution No. 07.03.19, approving the Alterations.

All residents of the District wishing to be heard should appear at the public hearing and present their views. Alternatively, or in addition, interested residents may submit their views in writing and deliver them to: Ellensburg School District Office, 1300 East 3rd Avenue, Ellensburg, WA 98926, on or before the date of the public hearing. Copies of Resolution Nos. 06.10.18 and 07.03.19 will be posted or linked on the District’s website at https://www.esd401.org/ or may be obtained by contacting Matt Cziske, Administrative Assistant to Superintendent, at 509.925.8010.



Public Hearing Information Packet

Media Articles

CWU Central News Watch

Daily Record

Editorial:  School District Moving Forward 2019.11.06

Letter:  School District Should Choose Seats Over Streets 2019.11.06

Ellensburg School District Solves Budget Problem for New Elementary Schools 2019.11.05

School District Moves Forward with School Plans 2019.10.28

School Board Listens to Public Concerns Regarding the New School Plans 2019.09.19

Letter: Providing More Information on School Property Purchase 2019.09.17

Continuing the Conversation, Why the North Site Can't Be Used 2019.09.12

Editorial: District Needs to Slow Down 2019.09.10

Ellensburg School District Must Change School Construction Plans 2019.09.06

Ellensburg School District All In on New Mt. Stuart 2019.04.04

New School Finds Heavy Community Support 2019.02.28

Letter: Looking at Building New, Rather Than Remodeling Mt. Stuart 2019.02.09

School Bond Progresses Forward in Planning 2019.01.31

Ellensburg School District Board Starts the Process of Picking a Design Team for School Bond 2019.01.23

Year in Review: No. 5: Ellensburg Passes Elementary School Expansion Bond 2018.12.28

School District Authorizes Bond Sales, Selects Architecture Firm 2018.12.05

Letter: District Should Not Heat New School with Natural Gas 2018.11.17

In Final Count, Ellensburg School Bond Passes at 62 Percent 2018.11.16

Editorial: Bond Passing is Good News 2018.11.14

Elementary School Bond Crosses 60 Percent Needed to Pass 2018.11.12

Elementary School Bond Falling Short of 60 Percent Needed 2018.11.07

Letter: Bond Would Help District Meet Elementary School Needs 2018.10.17

Editorial: School Bond Deserves Support 2018.10.09

Ellensburg School District Selects Construction Company for Elementary School Project 2018.08.24

Ellensburg School Board Approves Purchase of 29 Acres North of Mt. Stuart Elementary 2018.06.28

School Board Puts School Bond on the November Ballot 2018.06.14

Ellensburg School District Explores Grade School Options 2018.01.17

Ellensburg School District in Talks with CWU About Partnership, Land 2018.01.11

Year in Review: No. 4: Ellensburg School District Looks at Overcrowding 2017.12.28

District to Post Signs at Mt. Stuart School 2017.12.16

School District to Talk with CWU, City of Ellensburg About Land 2017.12.01

School Board Gathering More Information About Mt. Stuart Land 2017.08.26

Ellensburg School Board Considers New Option for Lincoln 2017.08.19

School District to Find Land to Resolve Mt. Stuart Property Dispute 2017.07.27

Ellensburg School Board Discusses Options to Resolve Mt. Stuart Land Issues 2017.06.28

School Board, Committee Discuss Possible Solutions to Crowding 2017.05.31

How many kids? Ellensburg School District Takes a Hard Look at Enrollment Projections 2017.05.12

Committee Recommends Two Elementary School Options 2017.04.20

School Committee Narrows Options to 4; Adopts Class & School Size Targets 2017.04.10

Committee to Back Fourth Elementary School 2017.03.06

Community Members Help Brainstorm Ideas for School Overcrowding Fix 2017.02.20

Ellensburg School Committee Drops 8-9 Campus Idea 2017.02.03

School Officials All Options on Table to Improve Facilities Ease Crowding 2017.01.30

8-9 Campus Float as Way to Reduce School Overcrowding 2017.01.21

Elementary School Bond Might Need to Wait Another Year 2017.01.05


Kittitas Valley League of Women Voters

YakTri News

Parents, Staff, Students and Community Members,

The Ellensburg School District Board of Directors authorized a bond proposition to be placed on the November 6, 2018, special election ballot to alleviate overcrowding and address critical safety and maintenance concerns at the elementary school level. This plan will add space, build a replacement Mt. Stuart Elementary,  and renovate Lincoln Elementary, and build a new elementary school on newly purchased property on the northwest side of town.

Resolution 06.10.18

Essential facts about the 2018 bond
Cost & tax rate estimates

Hechos esenciales sobre la propuesta
Costos y estimaciones