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We are excited to announce that the Ellensburg School District (ESD) will be moving forward with pursuing the development of our new elementary school on the Winegar property located north of the Palouse to Cascades Trail and Mount Stuart Elementary School on Cora Street.

Our bond proposal stated we would build one new elementary school and remodel both Mount Stuart and Lincoln in an effort to move students out of the portables and into brick and mortar schools. After doing an overall cost analysis of remodeling Mount Stuart, we gathered input from stakeholders at a public hearing held on Feb. 27, 2019 and made the decision to build a new Mount Stuart in lieu of remodeling the existing Mount Stuart building. Building a new Mount Stuart is less expensive than remodeling the old Mount Stuart due to its overall condition.

Although the existing Mount Stuart Elementary is in need of replacement, the gym is still a beneficial asset and will be saved. This structure will remain as a separate building and will continue to serve as a valuable space for physical education and recreation, for both our students and our community, respectively. Additionally, we will also be renovating the Annex building located west of the existing Mount Stuart serve as the home for our developmental preschool program. Currently, this program resides at CWU, and we are eager to bring our students onto the Mount Stuart campus.

We are pleased to share that Mount Stuart will be the first new building to be constructed, just north of the existing Mount Stuart. Our hope is to start construction of the new Mount Stuart in April. The Mount Stuart staff will move into their new building after it is constructed.

Finally, on July 9, 2019, the first State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) study was submitted on the Winegar property to determine requirements of developing the property. It was then determined that estimates of development would put ESD over the budget for constructing the new school onto the Winegar property. Putting two elementary schools on the Mount Stuart site was then considered and voted on by the Board on Sept. 5, 2019.

After we heard the valuable feedback at the public hearing held on Sept. 18, concerning the placement of two schools onto one site, we reached out to the city of Ellensburg to look for possible alternatives to the two schools on one property plan. We proceeded to work together with the city to see if there were alternative ways to develop the property and place the new school on the Winegar property with reduced costs.

A huge thank you to the city of Ellensburg for its creative and collaborative approach and working with us to find a way to construct the new school onto the Winegar property and stay within our budget. Because the placement of the new school on the Winegar property will be different than the original design, additional studies within the near future will need to occur before a timeline and next steps for this new school construction can be determined.

We are also working with OAC Services to determine the best process to follow for the remodeling of Lincoln Elementary.

Please join us for a celebration of the construction of the new Mount Stuart at 3 p.m., Oct. 30 at Mount Stuart. We will have refreshments, and our architects from Integrus Architecture will be available to answer your questions.

Ellensburg is a great place to live! We are grateful for the support of our community and look forward to sharing more details about the plans concerning the new school, Mount Stuart, and Lincoln at future

Board meetings. Board agenda items and meetings are on our website at https://www.esd401.org/community/school-board. We also have a Bond Construction Information page on our website at https://www.esd401.org/support/elementaryconstruction. Thank you for your support.

Tosha Woods is the Chair of the Ellensburg School District Board of Directors. Jinger Haberer is the ESD Superintendent.

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