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Schools offered 10 acres of land
Ten acres of a proposed 127-acre housing project could go to the Sequim School District if the board of directors choose to accept it.
Kelly Shea, Sequim School District superintendent, first confirmed the offer at the school board meeting on Jan. 27. He told the Gazette the offer is a matter of good faith.
“They have offered to set aside 10 acres for us but we haven’t agreed to build on it or take it,” he said.
“If the school board does want to accept it, then we’ll enter into an agreement but right now we have no plans to build a new elementary school on that site.”
Chris Hugo, City of Sequim director of community development, confirmed the project, tentatively called “Legacy Ridge,” consists of 127 acres roughly bound by Seventh Avenue on the east, River Road on the west, Happy Valley Road (extended) on the south, and an irregular boundary on the north.
The site is tentatively set to become a single-family home project, designed by PACE Engineers, Inc. of Kirkland, with several hundred units, likely built in several phases.
Steve Calhoon, senior principal planner with PACE, declined to comment and deferred to Shea.
Currently, the school district has budgeted $2 million in its proposed $154 million bond proposal to purchase new property for an elementary school, likely in east Sequim.
Shea said the offered site would move the boundaries more west, which is what they are trying to avoid.
With an enrollment discrepancy between Greywolf and Helen Haller Elementary, Shea said by building a new elementary school to replace Helen Haller the district could realign the boundaries and balance enrollment.
“The board is still considering a bond to replace Helen Haller Elementary. (The proposed site) doesn’t fit our needs right now, but in 5 or 10 years from now if they build 400 or 500 homes then it’d be a great location,” Shea said.
One of the biggest factors for looking into a third elementary school, Shea said, would be the amount of live births in Sequim and Clallam County.
He said a rise in kindergarten attendance this year could be in-line with birth rates in recent years that could lead to a surge in elementary school attendance.
“Having an elementary school with about 600 kids is very responsible but when we go over 1,250 (between the two Sequim elementary schools) then we need to consider a third elementary,” Shea said.