Statement from the School District re the Ronald School and Shoreline Historical Museum

Sunday, July 18, 2010

New Shorewood to incorporate historic Ronald School building - full statement from Shoreline Schools

Despite repeated efforts over the past five months, the Shoreline School District and the Shoreline Historical Museum, currently housed in the Ronald School, have not been able to finalize the agreement to relocate the building to an adjacent site. Therefore, the Shoreline School District will now return to its original plan of incorporating the historic Ronald School building in a new Shorewood High School.

After both the Museum Board and the Shoreline School Board approved the "Agreement in Principle" in January and voters approved the February 9, 2010 $150 million bond measure to replace both Shorewood and Shorecrest High Schools, the District directed the Bassetti Architects to develop a new architectural design for the Shorewood that did not incorporate the Ronald School into the project, assuming that the building would be moved from the property. Since that time Bassetti staff has worked on the new plan exclusively.

In a surprise move on June 1, the Museum Board legally appealed the District's Determination of Non-Significance (DNS) under the State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) process related to relocating the Ronald School building to an adjacent site.

As efforts to purchase the necessary adjacent property by the Museum stalled, July 1 was determined by the District to be the last possible date to direct the architects to return to the pre-February 2010 design plans which incorporated the Ronald School into the Shorewood design.

"Any further delay in this decision will most certainly disrupt the design, construction timeline, and threatens the significant state funding of approximately $17 million associated with the replacement of Shorewood High School," said Superintendent Sue Walker.

Representatives from the Museum and the District have met several times since the February election to discuss the agreement to move the Ronald School. Consistent with the District's previous communications on the subject, the District clarified three items that needed to be in place by July 1 in order for the District to know there is a good faith effort and/or the ability on the part of the Museum to execute the "Agreement in Principle" reached in January. The three items were:

  1. A signed purchase agreement on a piece of property adjacent to the Shorewood site.
  2. A signed legal agreement with the District stipulating all of the necessary conditions to be met outlined in the "Agreement in Principle" and discussed at the meetings.
  3. A written withdrawal of the SEPA appeal filed by the Museum Board.

The Museum did not secure the necessary property to which the Ronald School can be moved and there is no signed agreement, other than the original agreement in principle. The SEPA appeal has not been withdrawn and is still in progress. The District feels that it has no choice but to move ahead with plans to incorporate the Ronald School building into the Shorewood design.


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