Large Antennae at Snoqualmie Ridge Intersections not Big Brother, Planning Work for New Elementary School Slated for 2016

The question started coming in yesterday.  What the heck are those big antennae strapped to light posts at Snoqualmie Ridge intersections? And what are the monitoring?

Well, it’s not ‘big brother’ folks… even as space-like as those antennae appear.  It’s just a simple – and temporary –  traffic survey the Snoqualmie Valley School District is conducting.  The antennae, located at intersections near Cascade View Elementary School, will be removed in approximately one week.

Snoqualmie Valley School District Public Information Officer, Carolyn Malcolm, explained the traffic survey is required by the City of Snoqualmie as part of the permitting process for a future elementary school planned for the corner of Snoqualmie Parkway and SE Swenson Drive.

That elementary school is dependent upon a future capital construction bond, for which an election date has yet to be determined.  Regardless, the district is doing the planning work for the future school early so the construction process can move quickly when the time comes.

During the February 6, 2014, school board meeting, board members stated the 2016-17 school year is the estimated critical opening date for the new elementary school, which means a school bond must be run and passed by April 2015 to open the school in 2016.

A 6th elementary school is needed due to upcoming state-mandated, full-day kindergarten – and district growth. State law requires the legislature to provide funding to all Washington school districts for full-day kindergarten by the 2017/18 school year.

School districts with higher poverty rates (measured by percentage of students qualifying for the free and reduced lunch program) receive that funding first. Whereas other districts have begun receiving the funding, the Snoqualmie Valley School District has not. It’s low poverty rate of 13% makes it one of the later school districts to receive full-day kindergarten funding.

The district and school board have been working for the last year and a half to determine components of the next bond which will meet SVSD’s facility and educational needs.

The school board has stated there are equal needs across all education levels, including building improvements and flood-proofing to aging Mount Si High School, returning the district to three middle schools and a 6th elementary school.

Antennae to monitor traffic near Cascade View ES, corner of Ridge St and Center Blvd.  Photo:  Kelly Saunders
Antennae to monitor traffic near Cascade View ES, corner of Ridge St and Center Blvd. Photo: Kelly Saunders




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