Tacoma to invest $650 million in school improvements

February 27, 2024

Voters in Tacoma, Washington, approved a $650 million bond measure Feb. 13 to replace or renovate 11 schools and provide districtwide upgrades to health, safety and security. The projects will allow students to access more subjects while supporting maintenance to increase building lifespans.

Tacoma Public Schools (TPS) will build five schools to replace existing facilities at IDEA High School and the DeLong, Point Defiance, Stanley and Whitman elementary schools. Voter approval allows the district to renovate Franklin Elementary, Hilltop Heritage Middle School and Silas High School. Plans also include renovating TPS’s central administration, professional development and West End swing site facilities.

Plans for IDEA High school call for expanding the Maritime Skills Center to support technical and vocational high school education. The district will also create access to a larger career education facility for agricultural sciences and wildlife studies. All four elementary school replacements, as well as renovations at the other six schools, call for expanded career and technical education facilities.

The bond will help upgrade the athletic field turf at five schools. In addition, the district will build concessions, bleachers and railings at Lincoln High School. Other plans include improving ADA-compliance districtwide and updating the HVAC systems for the Crescent Heights, Delong, Franklin, Jefferson, Manitou Park, NE Tacoma and Sheridan schools.

Other small capital projects include building playgrounds for the Roosevelt, Jefferson and Sheridan elementary schools. The West End swing site, Harmon Park/Baker, Geiger Montessori, Blix, Sheridan and Roosevelt schools will also receive playgrounds.

Other specific site improvements include replacing furniture and upgrading the glass blowing shop at Hilltop Heritage Middle School. TPS will replace Silas High’s entire 900 classroom wing in addition to improving the pool building’s exterior. Other districtwide improvements include making seismic and structural upgrades and improving security with controlled school entry points, cameras, fire alarms and sprinklers.

Strategic Partnerships, Inc. can provide information on contract opportunities, plus existing and future government funding. For more information, contact research@spartnerships.com.

Photo courtesy of Tacoma Public Schools

Paul Stinson

Paul Stinson has more than 15 years of journalism experience, including a decade covering the legislative and regulatory affairs of Texas, South Africa, and Germany for an affiliate of Bloomberg, L.P. His experience includes covering voting rights and the sectors of environment, energy, labor, healthcare, and taxes. Stinson joined the team in October as a reporter for SPI’s news publications, which include Government Contracting Pipeline, Texas Government Insider, and the newly-launched Government Market News. He is also a Fulbright Scholar to Germany, and an Arthur F. Burns Fellow. He holds a master’s in journalism from Indiana University.   

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