Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is the old Bethel High School building going to become?
A: After the new Bethel High opens in 2023, the old BHS building will be used as a “swing school.” This will allow students and staff from Cedarcrest, Evergreen, and Naches Trail to move out of their current buildings while construction crews get to work on their expansion and renovation projects that are also being funded by the bond.
This process will not only help accelerate the construction of each project, but also saves money with the reduced construction time.
Q: I thought Elementary #18 was going to be located closer to Naches Trail Elementary. Why is it closer to 176th?
A: In the two 2016 bonds, the location of Elementary #18 was next door to Naches Trail. After those bonds failed, the Pierce County land on Waller Road, in between Military Road and 176th, became available. After looking into it, the decision was made to purchase the new land and build the school there. Geographically speaking, it's a better location when you consider traffic flow and the distribution of students among the other elementary schools in the area. The district still owns the land next to Naches Trail, and will be using it for a future project.
Q: Elementary #18 is on Waller Road. What type of sidewalks will the district build for students?
A: The district will construct “half street improvements” including a sidewalk along the entire parcel owned by the district, which is fairly significant, approximately 800 lineal feet.
“Half street improvements” include pavement from the center line, curbs, gutters, stormwater facilities, and sidewalks.
Unfortunately the district won't be able to construct a sidewalk any further than our property lines for a number of reasons.
Pierce County won't allow us to just put in a sidewalk or an asphalt pathway. They require complete “half street” improvements. In addition, those improvements would need a larger right-of-way than what is existing, so it would also require the district to acquire quite a bit of property from multiple property owners, which would be cost-prohibitive.Q. Has the school district put any pressure on the county to increase impact fees charged to housing developments? This would certainly help offset the costs being placed on current taxpayers.A. Bethel, along with other Pierce County school districts, participated in a Pierce County committee that evaluated impact fees and compared them to neighboring counties. The committee recommended raising the fees to help off-set the financial impact of student growth. The County Council voted not to increase the fees. Our staff continues to work with the county to implement policies and standards to decrease the impacts to the district resulting from growth.Q. Where will Elementary #19 be located?
A. Elementary #19 is currently scheduled to be built in the Lipoma Firs community. The land is not ready to be built on yet, and is part of the final phase of DR Horton's development schedule. They are currently estimating the site will be done (graded, roads built, utilities installed) in late 2022, which means school construction can start in early 2023 and opening in September of 2024.
Q. When will the new Bethel High School open?
A. We look forward to the new BHS opening the fall of 2023.
Q. How do you select names for new schools?
A. Board policy 6970 indicates that school names will be determined by the school board on the basis of recommendations made by ad hoc advisory committees appointed for that purpose.
Q. I thought the district couldn’t build on the property on 224th/70th
A. House Bill 1017 changed that in April of 2017. www.thenewstribune.com/news/politics-government/article146958749.html