Elementary School Construction Projects

The September 26, 2019 Public Hearing advertised in the Ellensburg Daily Record on Thursday, August 29, 2019 to review the potential development of property located north of Mt. Stuart school is cancelled.  The Ellensburg Daily Record is publishing a retraction in the newspaper on Saturday, August 31, 2019. This public meeting is being rescheduled, and when a future date is determined, detailed information will be published in the Ellensburg Daily Record and online at the District’s web site.  We apologize for any inconvenience.

Meeting Minutes

Elementary Bond Executive Minutes

Bond Information

Notice of Public Hearing




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

School Design Committee

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


FAQ's for Mt. Stuart New Construction In Lieu of Modernization Option

Mt. Stuart Elementary School

New Construction In Lieu of Modernization Option

Frequently Asked Questions

  • 1.What did the original bond plan envision for the Mt. Stuart project?

Response: The original bond plan was to modernize the existing facility and annex building and construct approximately 15,400 square feet of new classrooms and educational support spaces. The Mt. Stuart staff and students were going to move in temporarily to the new school in August 2021. The modernization and small new construction additions to Mt. Stuart project was to start in July 2021. Mt. Stuart’s original project completion date is January 2023.

  • 2.What is the current Mt. Stuart project budget?

Response: The bond project budget is $23 million dollars and has not changed.

  • 3.Is the District eligible to receive state funding assistance to fund the project?

Response: It is estimated that the District is eligible for approximately $5 million dollars in state funding assistance.

  • 4.If new construction is used will we lose any state funding assistance?

Response: No. The project has 38, 104 square feet in state funding assistance of square foot eligibility using either new or modernization. The 1996 gym addition to Mt Stuart is not eligible for state funding assistance.

  • 5.Are their any portions of the existing Mt. Stuart building that are salvageable?

Response: As part of the analysis, the District project/construction manager and architect have reviewed in detail the building condition assessment report and recommend that the 1996 gym addition is a potential asset the District should review whether it should be retained as instructional space or other educational support activities. This option is being considered and no decision has been made on the gym’s disposition.

  • 6.If the Board is considering designing and constructing a new Mt Stuart Elementary School are there opportunities for public input on this option?

Response: The Revised Code of Washington requires the Board subsequently determines that state or local circumstances should cause any alteration to the specific expenditures from the debt financing or of the state assistance, the Board shall conduct a public hearing to consider those circumstance and receive public testimony. If the Board then determines that any such alterations are in the best interests of the District, it may adopt and new resolution or amend the original resolution at a public meeting held after the meeting at which public testimony was received. Public hearing and testimony will be held on February 27, 2019 at 5:30 pm at Lincoln Elementary School. After considering public testimony, the Board may choose (or not) to adopt a new resolution or amend the current resolution to construct a new Mt. Stuart Elementary School at its March 13, 2019 regular board meeting.

  • 7.What state or local circumstances has the District considered that would cause an alteration to the original bond plan and expenditure of debt or state assistance?

Response: The following circumstances that could impact the Mt Stuart project are:

  • a.Significant regional construction market forecast and projects: Central and Eastern Washington construction markets project approximately $700 million dollars in new construction projects within the next 2-3 years in public and private construction projects. The District’s bond projects are in that projection.
  • b.High demand and premium for quality general contractors and subcontractors: Given the forecast above, general contracts and more importantly the subcontractor community will be stressed to ‘man each project’. Thus, general contractors and subcontractors are being very strategic in their business plans on which projects and owners they desire to pursue. The Board and District’s marketing strategy is to make its project very appealing to the general contractor and subcontracting community.
  • c.Current market conditions in construction materials and commodities are escalating higher than normal then was estimated in bond planning budgets. Given the bond budgets, our project/construction management and architectural firms tested the budgets against the current and project market conditions. The construction industry is experiencing escalation over the next 2-3 years to total 12-15% percent over current prices. The bond budget did not anticipate this high of escalation factor.
  • d.Mt Stuart project budget validation and project delivery. Since bond passage and given the circumstances above which will impact the budget, the District took the time with its consultants to test the options to modernize or construct a new Mt. Stuart. They used current and future market conditions and pricing and conducted an external estimate separately from the bond budgets. They used current subcontractors pricing on relevant projects and market conditions to revise the budget. Their analysis confirms at this stage of conceptual planning and support the state/local circumstances above that:
  • It is less costly to build a new Mt. Stuart Elementary School than modernize and construct new space onto the existing school.
  • Owner’s construction contingency budget is less than modernization due to less unknowns and less risk on a new facility
  • State fees for architectural and engineering services are less in designing a new facility versus modernization – the design effort to investigate current facility issues and marry them with new designs take longer and additional work effort.
  • Constructing a new school allows for better design, efficient use of space and program alignment then the existing Mt. Stuart facility.
  • There is some residual value to retain a portion of the existing Mt. Stuart facility. The 1996 gym is being considered with options to retain it and perform minor construction to this facility.
  • Less disruption to educational teaching/learning and less moves. A new school will be constructed on the existing site with minimal impact to staff, students and public safety and use of the existing facility.
  • If new construction is the desired option, the project will begin now and be completed in time for a January 2022 move in – one year ahead of the current plan. This saves money on the project.
  • Combine the new elementary school and Mt Stuart new construction into a single project and bid both schools with one general contractor. The approach to combine both projects creates a larger project that increases general contractors and regional subcontractors’ interest in the project.
  • If approved, the District intends to combine both projects into one and use the alternate public works project delivery method called General Contractor/Construction Manager as authorized by the Revised Code of Washington. These approaches bring greater buying power in terms of construction materials and quantities and less cost in contractor overhead and supervision. The proximity of the two sites make it ideal to efficiently schedule and move construction crews to and from each site.

OAC Construction Manager Presentations


Below is list of Bond Related Documents.


Resolution 05.02.19


It's Elementary Graphic

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 and renovate Lincoln and Mount Stuart Elementary Schools, and build a new elementary school on newly purchased property on the northwest side of town.

Resolution 06.10.18

Q & A

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

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 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 renovations are needed at Lincoln and Mount Stuart Elementary Schools?

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

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 would be built on 29 acres near Mount Stuart Elementary School that our school district is in the process of purchasing. Capacity at the new elementary school will be 500 elementary students + 50 developmental pre-K. The school board will seek public input during the design process.

What is the cost of the project?

Cost of Project

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.

Tax Rate Chart

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.

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