Highlands Elementary Update

Highlands Elementary School
Bond Project 

November 6, 2019 Update: The Hutchison Smith Architects designed project is underway. Forming and placing concrete for the new school is complete. Masonry construction at the Gymnasium is complete. Roofs are being built and Mechanical-Electrical-Plumbing rough-ins are in progress in various areas of the site. CM Company is working to have the building dried in by Thanksgiving. July 3, 2019 Update: The Hutchison Smith Architects designed project is underway. The project is managed by CM Company. Abatement of asbestos and lead containing materials is in progress. Demoiltion of the existing building is expected to commence July 8 and construction of the new school will follow. June 19, 2019 Update: The project to rebuild Highlands Elementary School on the same site is curently underway. Review memo to Highlands parents and staff.

June 5, 2019 Update: The Hutchison Smith Architects designed project is underway. The project will be managed by CM Company. School furnishings and teacher equipment and supplies have been relocated to Fort Boise. Portable buildings are being removed from the site. Abatement of asbestos and lead containing materials will begin shortly. Demolition of the existing building and construction of the new school will follow.

May 8, 2019 Update: The Hutchison Smith Architects designed project will open bids on May 16, 2019. The project will be managed by CM Company. School furnishings and teacher equipment and supplies will be relocated to Fort Boise as soon as school is out. Demolition of the existing school will begin in June 2019 with construction of the new building to follow.

March 6, 2019 & April 3, 2019 Update: Hutchison Smith Architects has submitted plans for the new Highlands Elementary to the City of Boise Department of Planning and development for review and permitting. School furnishings and teacher equipment and supplies will be relocated to Fort Boise as soon as school is out. Demolition of the existing school will begin in June 2019 with construction of the new building to follow.

February 5, 2019 Update: Hutchison Smith Architects is currently working on design process. School to be relocated to Fort Boise during rebuild process. Demolition of the existing school will begin in June 2019 with construction of the new building to follow.

September 19, 2018 Update: The site design and artist renderings for the new Highlands Elementary were presented at the neighborhood meeting.
August 8 and September 5, 2018 Update: 
HSA is currently working on design process. School to be relocated during rebuild process.

June 6, 2018 Update:  Hutchison Smith Architects is in the design process. 

March 20, 2018 - Highlands Decision: Boise School District to Build New Highlands Elementary School

Following more than a year of discussion and input from parents, neighbors and patrons, the Boise School District will build a new Highlands Elementary school. The decision to rebuild the school rather than remodel was made after a detailed analysis of the following:

  1. Educational Impact and Safety
  2. Parent, Staff and Neighbor Preference
  3. Budgetary Constraints
  4. At-large Patron Preference
  5. Preservation, Environmental and Outdoor Opportunities and Limitations

Survey results from more than 600 community members showed overwhelming support (68%) from Highlands parents, staff and neighbors for a new school, with 82% of Highlands parents supporting a new school. Budgetary constraints were also a key factor. A remodel would have required an additional 6,000 square feet of space to meet similar educational and safety standards as a new school. This would have driven costs well above what the District’s Board of Trustees and taxpayers approved during the March 14, 2017 bond election.

“A new Highlands Elementary school is the best fit, educationally, economically and environmentally for our students and the school’s parents, staff and neighbors,” said Dr. Don Coberly, Superintendent of Boise School District. “With the needs of our primary constituencies now met, we look forward to designing a school that may incorporate many of the amenities requested by the public at large.”

The District now moves into the design phase of the new Highlands school. The design phase will continue through August 2018.  Several features suggested by remodel and preservation proponents, as well as neighbors, will be included as site plans develop:

  • Preservation and/or reclamation of unique structural and architectural components
  • Maximization of play area and green space
  • Public access to open space/green space
  • Compatibility with neighborhood culture and design
  • Traffic mitigation during construction

The Boise School District is appreciative of the constructive participation of all patrons throughout this process, including Highlands staff, parents and neighbors; Preservation Idaho; citizens from across the community and valley; as well as our civic partners the City of Boise and Ada County Highway District. 

The current school, built in 1961, was rated as the second-worst elementary school during the 2016 Facilities Audit.

Summary of Survey Data

 


 

March 8, 2018 -  Process Update

We appreciate the public interest generated by the Highlands project. We value the community’s input and feedback on this important project.

Now that the community survey has closed, we will be evaluating all responses received. Boise School District will make a decision regarding a rebuild or remodel of Highlands Elementary School by early April in order to meet the deadline of a June 2019 construction start date. When available, a summary report of the community survey and rationale for the decision will be made public on this website.  

Boise School District will consider the following factors in making a decision (not limited to the following and listed in no particular order):

  • Budgetary constraints
  • Educational adequacy
  • Energy efficiency
  • Neighborhood and school feedback
  • Other Survey Feedback
  • Overall Survey Results 
  • Playground space
  • Preservation opportunities and limitations
  • Safety of school and site design
  • Space efficiency
  • Survey comments
  • Traffic flow (parking and student drop-off)

*Factors updated 3/8/2018
Once a decision is made, Boise School District will begin the design process for the school, which will take us through August 2018. Upon completion of the design process, the project will go through Boise City Planning and Zoning with a full review.  

We are confident that either choice (rebuild or renovation) will provide a wonderful school for the Highlands community - students, parents and patrons. 




February 5, 2018 - Process Update 

On Monday, February 5, 2018, a Community Meeting was held at Highlands Elementary School to discuss options for an updated facility as a result of successful passage of the 2017 bond election. 

Highlands Elementary is a unique school built in 1961, is considered and exhibits a mid-century modern architecture.  There has been some interest in remodeling the school to preserve this style.  Therefore, two options were presented for this project.  

Hutchison Smith Architects, the firm hired by Boise School District to work on the Highlands project, led the meeting, which was attended by Highlands families, neighborhood residents, Highlands staff and others.  Hutchison Smith Architects President Don Hutchison walked the audience through a PowerPoint Presentation about plans to rebuild the school on the same site or renovate the school.

A video of the Community Meeting explains further about the options being considered. Next steps in the process call for the District to analyze feedback received from a community survey that was open from February 14 to 28, 2018.  That feedback will be considered by the District, along with other information, in making a decision about whether to rebuild Highlands on the same site or renovate the current school. A decision is expected sometime in April. 

Highlands Project Fact Sheet