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School Board asked approve site plan for new high school construction

FERNDALE, Wash. — Ferndale School District said in an email Friday, January 24th, that they had a recommendation for a site plan for the new Ferndale High School buildings and, if approved by the School Board at their Tuesday evening regular meeting, January 28th, it would become final. This was 1 of 3 options presented for consideration.

Recommended Ferndale High School construction site plan (does not include existing sports fields to the north/left) (January 24, 2020). Source: Ferndale School District

The primary reasons given by for selecting this site plan over the other 2 as listed on a document prepared by Construction Services Group are as follows:

  • Least cost to construct
  • Least disruption to school activities (the other options have the gym, commons/kitchen or other buildings out of service for longer periods of time)
  • Has the shortest schedule with less than 30 months of anticipated construction activity
  • Portions of the new school could be ready to occupy in early 2023 and all facilities would be complete by September 2023
  • Provides adequate area for future expansion
  • Main entry is up front and is easy for the public to find
  • The kitchen and commons can remain operational during construction
  • School buildings are grouped at the rear of campus, allowing for a more secure site with limited access points
  • Existing parking areas and tennis courts can be re-used
  • Gym and locker rooms are located close to the field
  • Reduces impacts to neighboring residences – both during construction and for ongoing school operations
  • Career & Technology Education (CTE) program will be prominent and will allow for easy delivery of supplies
  • Existing CTE building can be saved for District use as storage (building will no longer be used for educational purposes)
  • Allows storm detention facilities to be constructed early and without demolition of existing buildings
  • Minimal frontage improvements
  • Easier construction access and staging

Challenges to this site plan listed on the same document are as follows.

  • Soils in this area will require deeper foundations and the premium cost of these foundations is offset by the savings from reduced site work costs
  • Due to construction phasing, the school will lose use of the gym for up to 1 year and use of the football field and stadium for 2 years
    • alternative plans will be made for PE classes and athletics during this time
  • The school will be located closer to the railroad tracks; however, sound and vibration impacts from this are anticipated to be minimal
    • the larger and noisier spaces (gym and commons) will be located parallel to the tracks, while the classroom wing will be oriented perpendicular to the tracks
    • noise mitigation measures will also be incorporated into the building design

The Design Advisory Committee and Community Bond Oversight Committee both agreed with the recommendation of this site plan according to the email.

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