In January of this year, a new community organization was formed; highlighting the specific issues and community of Education Hill. This new organization is called Education Hill Neighborhood Association (EdHNA). At this time EdHNA has an online presence through Facebook and email.
The Association’s first 3 meetings focused on a Mission and Value Statement as well as meeting residents of Education Hill and others. EdHNA meetings are open to anyone that is interested in attending; meetings are held the first Thursday of each month, 7 PM at the First Baptist Church of Redmond, 16700 NE 95th Street.
At the February and March meetings guest speakers from the Lake Washington School District, School Board and Facilities Planning Commission gave presentations. Speakers included Dr. Traci Pierce, Siri Bliesner and Eric Campbell. In addition to their presentations, the speakers were available to answer questions about the upcoming Bond request on April 26th, 2016. For more information on the Bond, you can see the LWSD Bond page here.
Eric Campbell spoke at the March 3rd meeting. Eric is the CEO of MainStreet Property Group LLC and GenCap Construction Co., leading real estate development and construction-management firms dedicated to the vision, construction, and operation of landmark properties throughout the Puget Sound Region.Eric is also a Managing Member at Insite Property Solutions, which specializes in the management of multi-family properties. In his myriad roles, Eric is widely recognized for his dynamic industry leadership. He has successfully overseen billions of dollars in real estate transactions, leading the helm in the purchase, development, and operations of award-winning, mixed-used communities.
Eric spoke to the EdHNA members in his role as a member of the LWSD Long-Term Facilities Task Force. Most of the presentation that Eric offered can be found here.
Of interest to me, was the insight and consideration the Task Force seemed to take regarding the overcrowding issue in the District. Several strategies have been implemented to improve the planning and construction of new and re-built school buildings, including:
- Using design pre-work to improve design concepts and lower costs.
- Exploring best practices in school design and lean building principles.
- Continuing to learn from other school districts that have had success with cost-effective design.
- Convening a small expert advisory group to review design and construction of funded projects.
New “Design Principles” have been developed, which seem to be more in line with cost effective habits instead of award-winning architecture:
|Stacking buildings||● Eliminate or minimize one-story designs
● Change designs to increase number of stories
|Efficient and simple design||● Buildings designed in more compact manner, i.e., box/cube shape
● Utilize quality systems, i.e., mechanical, lighting, controls, that are simple to use and maintain
|Aesthetic||● Emphasis on aesthetics that are pleasing and fit with neighborhood context, but not on design awards|
|Standards||● Clear standards for design teams to ensure commonality in construction documents and building/system solutions|
|Accountability of design teams||● System of accountability for design teams with respect to district standards, short-term/long-term value and educational goals|
|Proto-parts||● Re-using portions of designs or design concepts across projects|
|Grouping multiple projects to the extent possible||● Consider combining projects together using same design team and / or contractor|
And the District / Task Force has a chart that explains the cost per project for each project in the proposed Bond and even a cost comparison of building different levels of schools in different areas and districts (see page for charts).
I recommend that everyone read up on the pages that LWSD has posted on their website regarding the bond and make sure to turn in your ballot on or before April 26th to cast your vote.