Kent district to demolish two schools for new facilities

New elementary school to be built on West Hill

Demolition of Kent Mountain View Academy on the West Hill will start in July to make room for a new elementary school.

The Kent School District also will start demolition this summer of the former Panther Lake Elementary School on the East Hill to accommodate a shared campus of Kent Mountain View and Kent Phoenix Academy.

District officials expect the new elementary school, 22420 Military Road S., in SeaTac, and new academy site, southwest corner of 108th Avenue Southeast and Southeast 208th Street, to open in the fall of 2021, said Melissa Laramie, director of communications and public affairs. The district initially announced the new sites last fall and recently released the demolition schedule.

Construction costs are estimated at $40 million for the new elementary school and $18 million for the academy campus, Laramie said. Voters approved a $252 million bond in 2016 for 120 proposed projects. That list included a new elementary school for the Valley and the new Covington Elementary School that opened in 2018 at 25811 156th Ave. SE.

Voters also approved funds for 20 new classrooms at sites that were not yet determined in an effort to reduce overcrowding. Those funds will be used to pay for the Panther Lake project.

The district has yet to name the new elementary school on the West Hill or set enrollment boundaries. Kent Mountain View occupied the 50-year old campus for 20 years that was previously the site of a military base.

“Information, updates and opportunities for engagement such as naming, will be shared with families and our community through school channels and the KSD website,” Laramie said in an email.

Kent Mountain View Academy, which sits near the SeaTac, Des Moines and Kent city borders, is a choice school option in the district for students in grades 3-12. Mountain View will share space over the next two school years at the current Kent Phoenix Academy, 11000 SE 264th St., which is the former Sequoia Middle School. The school has a capacity of more than 700 students, enough to accommodate the two academies that have a combined enrollment of about 550, according to district staff.

The possibility of combining some resources for both schools will make it more efficient as well at the Kent Phoenix Academy, which is an alternative high school. The configuration of the school campus includes two classrooms specifically designed for music, which Mountain View Academy will have access to along with a dedicated lunchroom and larger gymnasium. The schools will have separate entrance/exit areas.

In two years, the academies will move to the former Panther Lake that closed in 2009 when the district opened a new Panther Lake Elementary School at 10200 SE 216th St. School district officials had hoped to sell the property to help pay for other capital projects. After a potential sale to a developer fell through, the district in August 2017 took the former Panther Lake school property off the market.

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