The Tahoma School District is inviting the community to be part of a groundbreaking ceremony for the new Tahoma High School and regional learning center on June 5.
Festivities begin at 2:30 p.m. at the site of the new school, 27500 228th Ave. S.E. in Maple Valley, on what was the second hole at Elk Run Golf Course. The building contractor, Skanska USA, and management firm, OAC, are providing refreshments as part of the event.
The ceremony marks the end of the design phase and the start of actual site preparation and construction of the school, which is the biggest project funded by a $195 million bond measure approved by Tahoma voters in November 2013.
When it is completed, the school will be the largest high school in Washington state, with 315,000 square feet of instructional space. It will have an enrollment capacity of 2,400, which allows ninth grade to be moved into the high school. The current Tahoma High has more than 1,600 students in grades 10-12.
Completion of the school is scheduled for May 2017, which allows time to prepare the school to open that September. At the same time, Tahoma’s existing schools will be gearing up for the biggest restructuring in district history.
Late spring and summer of 2017 will be spent converting four schools to new grade alignments and getting started on one school’s renovation:
- Old Tahoma High School and Tahoma Junior High will become middle schools for grades 6-8;
- Cedar River Middle School and Tahoma Middle School will become elementary schools;
- Lake Wilderness Elementary School will begin a major renovation to eliminate portable classrooms and older portions of the main school campus while adding new classrooms.
The realignment is designed to ease overcrowding across the district and will result in six elementary schools, two middle schools and one senior high school.