Daily: A reasonable alternative to a second high school

Candidate for South Kitsap School District director offers his plan


Candidate for South Kitsap School District Board of Directors – District 5

The South Kitsap School District’s long-standing goal of building a second high school remains a disputed issue in our community. The last five failed bond efforts by the district have cost us approximately $1.5 million. Our community has not been presented with alternatives to building a second high school.

I offer these ideas for consideration by the South Kitsap community.

Jeff Daily

Jeff Daily

The accompanying architectural design renderings were created by Bilah Kahn of Dexignspro. This design has three main components. The first includes adding additional classrooms to the existing main building on the north side of the high school.

The addition would be built on columns to retain as much parking as possible. This would allow access to the athletic fields and the rear of the building. The building size can be adjusted depending upon need and available funding. The second component is an addition to replace the current portable classrooms on the west side of the main building. The design and size can be adjusted. The third component is a parking garage located where the current parking is located on the northwest side of the campus. Again, design and size can be changed. The garage may not be necessary if current parking is elevated in the building addition.

These additions to the current high school have several advantages. First, since the north parking lot is already below the level of the building, extending the building over the parking lot requires little excavation. The size and design of the parking garage can also be adjusted. Second, environmental impact reviews will likely be minimal since there are no water or utility issues, no endangered species living in the area or natural habitat issues.

Recent discussions with building contractors indicate that adding on to existing buildings costs less than new construction. Most new commercial construction averages between $300-$350 a square foot, whereas adding on to existing structures averages between $200-$250 a square foot.

The Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) manages a program called the School Construction Assistance Program, or SCAP. Read more about that program here:


OSPI requires the school district to submit feasibility studies before any bond requests can be put before the voters.

My requests to the district for prior feasibility studies remain unfilled. The Central Kitsap School District used the SCAP to help fund construction of one new high school, extensive remodeling of Olympic high school, extensive remodeling of two middle schools, modifications to three elementary schools and retrofits of door security systems for these schools. Project costs were $220 million, with OSPI contributing $80 million.

Our district has done a pretty good job maintaining the high school. There have been remodeling and additions in the past. The community pool will close for major improvements in 2020. The high school campus offers many activities for all students in a centralized location. Remodeling the high school will save millions and will avoid duplication of administrative, custodial, maintenance and transportation costs. Better utilization of the available existing space will also result in additional savings.

The Port Orchard and Kitsap County comprehensive plans, as well as the district’s own projections, show there will be slow growth throughout South Kitsap through 2036. The current lack of water now stalls any new development throughout McCormick Woods.

This delay provides the school district ample time to further investigate other alternatives to building a second high school. These alternatives could gain the full support of our community. To see additional illustrations of alternatives to building a second high school, visit: