Site Selected for New Kent Valley Elementary School
A site has been selected and approved for a new Kent School District (KSD) elementary school in the Kent valley. This new school was approved by voters in November 2016 by the passing of a $252,000,000 bond measure.
The new school will be built on existing KSD property currently occupied by Kent Mountain View Academy (KMVA). A small, choice school, KMVA is the first of its kind in the Kent School District, serving students in grades 3 – 12, and is one of many distinct KSD programs designed to meet the needs of our students and their families.
The KSD Facilities and Construction team exhausted all means of securing a site for the new Kent Valley elementary school, no other property suitable for the needs of the school was available. Construction will begin in the fall of 2019 and the new school will open to KSD students in August 2021.
This means that KMVA will be getting a new home. For the 2019-20 and 2020-21 school years, KMVA students will be sharing space with Kent Phoenix Academy (KPA) at their current location on Kent east hill. Like Kent Mountain View, KPA offers three unique programs to high school students who feel they want a learning environment different from a traditional high school.
KPA and KMVA will be sharing a building that once was home to Sequoia Middle School and has a capacity of over 700 students. Enrollment in 2018-19 for both schools is expected to be approximately 550 students, so district and school leaders are confident sharing this space is feasible.
“Certainly, there may be some challenges to sharing a space, but there will be many benefits, too, and I’m already excited about the innovative ways we can support students together,” said Stephanie Knipp, KMVA principal.
One benefit that both KPA and KMVA communities can look forward to is a new academy campus located at the old Panther Lake site on the corner of 208th and Benson. This academy campus will be the new location for both KPA and KMVA. The old Panther Lake has been on the market for a few years without a buyer, so building a new academy campus on this site is a responsible, fiscally sound plan. KPA and KMVA will have new buildings built for their students’ specific needs, and offer more opportunities to serve their students’ educational goals. The budget for “twenty classrooms to reduce overcrowding” from the 2016 Bond will be used to fund this project with construction beginning in 2019 and school starting there in 2021.
“Knowing there is a planned space for academies is thrilling, now the exciting part begins: planning a learning facility that will reflect all students' needs,” said Merilee Lyle, KPA principal.
When is the new Kent Valley Elementary School opening?
- The new school will open in the fall of 2021.
How do I register for the Kent Valley Elementary School?
- When the opening date is closer, more details such as registration will be distributed.
What are the boundaries for the Kent Valley Elementary School?
- The boundaries for this new school, along with Kent Valley Elementary and Neely-O'Brien Elementary schools, will be evaluated during the building process.
How can Kent Mountain View Academy (KMVA) and Kent Phoenix Academy (KPA) share one building?
- The current school lends itself to housing two separate schools. With a capacity of over 700, it can easily house both schools on its campus. The possibility of combining some resources for both schools will make it more efficient as well. The configuration of the school campus includes two classrooms specifically designed for music, which KMVA will now have access to along with a dedicated lunchroom and larger gymnasium. The schools also will have separate entrance/exit areas. This will only be a temporary KPA/KMVA campus as the new academy campus is being built.
What will the new KPA and KMVA buildings look like?
- KMVA and KPA principals are collaborating with KSD Capital Facilities and KSD Communications teams to develop a process for stakeholder communications and feedback. Information, updates and opportunities for engagement will be shared with families and communities through school channels and the KSD website.