Frequently Asked Questions

Port Townsend School District’s
Salish Coast Elementary School
Frequently Asked Questions (Updated 9/1/17)

When will Salish Coast Elementary open?
The new school is scheduled to open in the Fall of 2018. If all goes
as scheduled, staff members will begin moving into the school in August

How was the new school named?
For a period of two months, community members, staff, parents, and
students nominated names for the new school. Over 200 nominations for
names were received. According to school board policy, the names
needed to be related to geographic features or notable individuals. A
committee of community members, parents, and staff reviewed these
nominations and made five final recommendations to the school board.
The school board chose the name Salish Coast Elementary with a vote of 4
to 1.

Who designed the building?
Community members, students, and Pre-K through Grade 5 teachers
and staff helped to create the vision for the new elementary school. Based
on their vision statements, the architectural firm Integrus, of Seattle,
created the building design.

What is the name of the construction company?
The construction company is Absher Construction of Puyallup, WA.
This construction company of many years of experience building
elementary schools.

Who are the project managers?
The project managers are Kirk Robinson and Craig Sheets, of The
Robinson Company, of Seattle, who are managing the project for the
district and work with both Integrus and Absher to ensure an efficiently run
and cost effective project.

What grade levels will attend the school?
Students Pre-K through 5th grade will attend the school, including the
multiage grades 1-5 OPEPO program.

Will current 4th Grade Students stay at Blue Heron for 5th Grade or attend Salish Coast Elementary?
Parents of current 4th-grade students were surveyed last spring about their preference regarding which school their 5th grader would attend. Overwhelmingly, the outcome of the survey showed that responding parents would like their children to attend 5th grade at the new Salish Coast Elementary. In keeping with this survey outcome, 5th-grade students will attend Salish Coast Elementary School during the 2018-19 school year. Fifth-grade teachers will also move to Salish Coast Elementary School for 2018-19 school year. 

How are classrooms designed in the new building? 
Thanks to State legislation, Salish Coast Elementary will have reduced class sizes in grades K-3. This means that classrooms are designed to accommodate various class sizes, depending upon the grade level. Many classrooms will have walls that open or close, depending upon the learning activity and class size. Walls can close, provide a traditional single classroom, or open partially or completely, depending upon the needs of the students and the learning activity.

Is this an environmentally designed building?

Yes, this building will meet rigorous standards for environmental

When did construction begin?

Soil testing was the first step in construction, which was completed
throughout the 2016-17 School Year.

What work was completed over the summer?
A portable was removed, trees were cleared, the site was prepared, a
construction road was made, and safety fencing was erected. Foundations
for the gym and the commons sections of the new school were erected.

How can I learn more about Salish Coast Elementary and the construction

There is information on the Grant Street Elementary website at
There are also regular updates posted on the Grant Street/Salish
Coast Facebook page at:
Additionally, a large television monitor outside the school office, as well as
parent newsletters, will keep families informed about the project.

Will this building be designed for student safety?
The building will have a gate that closes the courtyard during the
school day to limit access and ensure student safety. Additionally, there
will be a limited number of entry points into the building to allow full
supervision of who enters and leaves the school.

What provisions will be made in the building design to ensure individuals
with disabilities have equal access?

There is a walkway from the bus area to the main office entrance that
will be accessible to wheelchairs. At the courtyard entrance to the school
on Grant Street, there will be a ramp to walk up to the next level with a
wheelchair that will meet the Americans with Disabilities Act standards. An
elevator to the library bridge level will also be available from the gym and
commons level.

What will happen for recess during construction?
A temporary playground plan has been made. To learn detailed
information about this plan please visit:
Additionally, recess schedules have been adjusted so that a smaller
number of classes go to recess at a time.

How will buses and student drop off and pick-up be handled during

Buses will drop off and pick up students on Grant Street. Students
who are riding buses in the afternoon will depart the school at 2:25 pm.
Students who are being picked up by parents will play in the playground
until 2:35 when their parents will pick them up. Parking along Grant Street
during the school day will be for visitors only. The bus zone will be for
unloading and loading with no loading and unloading between 7:30 and
8:30 am and 2:00 and 3:00 PM. For more detailed information, please visit
the Grant Street Elementary website to view the temporary transportation

What will happen to the large slash pile on the grounds of the school, near

The slash pile was created from trees identified by an arborist as
dangerous trees or on the site of the new construction. Other trees were
left standing, but some limbs removed to provide better animal habitat.
Once the slash pile is dry it will be ground into mulch for use on the site of
Salish Coast Elementary for landscaping and paths throughout the school

How much space will the new school site have for outdoor features such as
a play area and the school garden?

The play area has been increased in size dramatically in design
revisions and will include a field to allow organized sports both during the
school day and for community groups after school. The school garden
space has also been dramatically increased and will become a production
garden that will feed students at the new elementary school and across the

What plans are there to archive Grant Street’s history as a school?
A digital gallery of Grant Street will be made before the school is
demolished that will include information on its history and importance in the
community. This will be readily available to all through the school district’s

What plans are there to preserve the art at Grant Street and use it at Salish
Coast Elementary?

Usable art pieces will be incorporated into the school in areas such
as the commons, the entry, playground, classrooms, and garden as
appropriate with input from the architects and community members.
What resources will the school provide the community in the new facility?
The new school will have many resources available to the larger
school community. There are plans for a well-child clinic, family education
center, library use during after school hours, connections to social services,
and recreation opportunities outside and in the gymnasium during after
school hours.