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Potential Highlands Elementary School Site Update

Posted by L Michelle on June 13, 2018

The Issaquah School District has been looking at a piece of City-owned property,  located at Northeast Discovery Drive and Sixth Avenue Northwest as a potential site for a new elementary school. As part of its due diligence in assessing the site for school construction, the District retained consultants to perform arborist and geotechnical studies on the site. The results of the geotechnical review were presented to the Issaquah School Board of Directors and discussed at the June 13, 2018 meeting.

Geotechnical reviews are common for prospective builders to determine how suitable the site is for the proposed type and method of construction.The District’s consultants determined that – given the size of the proposed school, as well as the property’s available building area and topographic constraints – there is not enough room to fully address potential landslide hazards through buffers and setbacks, particularly when seismic design criteria are considered.  The consultants for the District stated these natural hazards might be able to be mitigated through more expensive construction measures, such as grading, foundation structures or retention walls. For these reasons, the District has decided not to pursue the property for a school.

The District appreciates its partnership with the City of Issaquah and looks forward to working with the City to identify other properties for school sites. The District recently announced that it has acquired property in Sammamish for an elementary school. However, it is crucial that the District continue to build capacity to meet growing student enrollment. In April 2016 voters approved a school construction bond to acquire land and construct two elementary schools, a new middle school, and a new comprehensive high school.

Link to the Geotechnical Report