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Washougal School Districts new K8 campus designed with future in mind

first_imgWhen planning the new K-8 campus in the Washougal School District, school officials noticed they could fit six additional classrooms on the west of the building that they wouldn’t technically need when the two schools open on Thursday.Once they knew they could fit it in the school’s budget, they opted to include the classrooms. Superintendent Mike Stromme said there’s a possibility they’ll need the space eventually, and if they would have come back to build an addition on the school later, it would’ve cost more money than doing it at the moment.“You start looking at space in how you can reach students and teach students, and be adaptable,” Stromme said. “We have an opportunity to get things right, and it’s a lot easier to get things right on the first try than to try and come back and change something later.”The 122,000-square-foot campus replaces Jemtegaard Middle School and adds the new Columbia River Gorge Elementary School. Funding for the schools comes from a $57.7 million bond voters in the district passed in February 2015. Construction costs for the schools were a little less than $40 million, and the total cost for the project was about $50 million, according to Washougal Facilities Director Joe Steinbrenner.While thinking about building for the future and making sure there’s room for growth, district officials faced some extra scrutiny, as the campus sits inside the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area, which imposes certain design restrictions for any new building project. The campus couldn’t have buildings taller than 35 feet and features a lot of earth tones.last_img read more