School Improvement Bond Projects

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Roosevelt playground surface installation

In February 2016, Olympia School District voters overwhelmingly approved a bond measure to address facility and safety improvements districtwide. This webpage has been created to update the community, as well as students, families, and staff, about the progress of the various construction projects.

This page will be updated regularly with articles, photos and videos, as well as links at the bottom of the page to related information. Photos and videos featuring bond projects will also be featured on the school district's Facebook, Twitter and Instagram social media pages.


January 2021


Olympia School District Saves Taxpayers Nearly $30 Million

Thanks to strategic fiscal management and favorable market conditions, the Olympia School District was able to act to save taxpayers $29.8 million over the next 19 years.

The savings are the result of selling bonds approved by voters in 2016 now, instead of later in the construction cycle, and a result of refinancing bonds from 2012 now, instead of waiting until March 2022. The first step to selling/refinancing bonds is to obtain a rating from Moody’s Investors Service. In a press release, Moody’s noted OSD’s proven ability to outperform budgeted expectations and capably manage revenue and expenses to ensure stable operations.

Garfield elementaryThe district timed the sale and refinance of bonds for Sept. 29, 2020 to take advantage of historically low interest rates, said Jennifer Priddy, assistant superintendent of finance and capital planning.

“These are taxes we now do not need to collect,” Priddy said. “Our taxpayers will now be able to keep this money rather than make interest payments. We are always working to be good stewards of public funds, and we are pleased to be able to provide this tax savings to our community.”


Finishing Touches at Capital and Olympia high schools

The majority of construction at both Capital and Olympia high schools was completed in 2020. Remaining projects at Capital include finishing touches on the Performing Arts Center, due for completion in March 2021; and a new security vestibule for the front entrance, scheduled for completion in August 2021. At OHS, new turf for the field will be installed in January 2021.


Centennial, McLane and Roosevelt elementary schools

Remodels of Centennial, McLane and Roosevelt elementary schools were completed in the fall of 2019. The projects were on time and under budget.


Knox 111 Administrative Building

Knox administrative buildingThe main remodel at Knox 111 is complete and all departments moved in early in 2020. The building is scheduled to be reroofed in the spring of 2021.


Avanti High School

Avanti High School is currently in the design phase for a major remodel of the main building and the annex, which was formerly warehouse space. The project will go out to bid in Nov. 2021 and is scheduled to be completed in February of 2023. Projects include refurbishing classrooms, modernizing technology and energy systems, upgrading fire safety, and ADA accessibility modifications. Designers aim to find creative ways to retain some of the historic features of the building, which was originally built in the early 1920s.


May 2019


Capital and Olympia High School Projects Break Ground

Capital and Olympia high schools will break ground this summer on several significant school improvement projects. Construction begins in June 2019 and is estimated to be completed by the time school opens in fall 2020.

Capital High School: The school district opened bids in early May 2019 for the construction of a new 500-seat two-story Performing Arts Center. The new PAC gets underway on June 24 between the Commons and gym. In addition to building the new theatre, school improvements include turning the existing Performing Arts Center into a lecture hall with seats on one side and a black box stage area on the other side. Other projects include replacing the main building siding, reroofing portions of the school, replacing single-pane windows with double-pane windows, removing non-functioning in-wall heaters, and adding a new air distribution system by replacing all heating and air-conditioning units while installing a new controls system.

Olympia High School: Construction begins June 24, 2019 on improvements to the North Street entrance to Olympia High School. A second set of entry doors are being added to enhance security, and visitors will be required to check in before being allowed to enter the second set of doors into the school. A more secure entry with two sets of doors will also be added next summer on the entrance to the Commons, which will be part of a two-story classroom addition in the same area. Fourteen general classrooms will be housed in the two-story addition. Other classroom additions planned include a new 2,000-square-foot music room to be built adjacent to the existing music rooms, as well as four additional science classrooms and science prep rooms that will be built between the 400 classroom wing and the Allied Arts building. The science classroom addition will be joined to the main campus with an enclosed secure walkway. This summer, workers will be preparing underground utilities to support those classroom additions that will start construction in fall and continue throughout the 2019-20 school year. Summer plans also include replacing carpeting in all existing classrooms, offices and Performing Arts Center. A fresh coat of paint will be added to corridor walls throughout the school starting this summer. The OHS bond projects will conclude next summer with the installation of a new synthetic turf field behind the school’s tennis courts; the relocation of three of the tennis courts to the immediate south side of their existing location to make room for the new turf field and parking; and the removal of seven portable classrooms on the back side of campus.


Centennial, McLane and Roosevelt Elementary Schools Complete Remodels

After more than a year of construction, the newly remodeled Centennial, McLane and Roosevelt elementary schools are scheduled to be complete by the opening of school this September.

Centennial Elementary School: Work is nearing completion on structural changes, including the addition of a second gym in the former location of the covered play shed. This summer, work will including repainting, adding new basketball backstops, adding new lighting, and installing a new heating and cooling system in the main gym; modernizing the kitchen to make the food service system more efficient; adding a permanent stage, new lighting and new ceilings in the multipurpose room (cafeteria); adding new classroom furniture throughout the school; resodding the grass playfield to be ready for use when school opens in September; and reconfiguring the parking lot to create a dedicated bus lane and lengthen the parent vehicle pick up and drop off lanes to ease traffic congestion off side streets. Rubberized tile will be added to the school playground this fall.

McLane Elementary School: Construction includes modernizing the school kitchen to make the food service system more efficient; repainting, adding new basketball backstops, adding new flooring, adding new lighting, and installing a new heating and cooling system in the main gym; adding a permanent stage, new lighting and new ceilings in the multipurpose room (cafeteria); adding new classroom furniture throughout the school; filling in the detention pond in the lower parking lot to add more parking spaces (35 more spaces overall on the campus); and reconfiguring the parking lot to lengthen the parent vehicle pick up and drop off lanes to ease traffic congestion off adjacent streets.

Roosevelt Elementary School: The school’s preschool playground, complete with a striped concrete tricycle track, will be completed early this summer. Work will also be done this summer on improvements to the school gym and cafeteria, including modernizing the kitchen and service area, as well as improving the lighting, repainting, and improving the heating and cooling system in the gym. Work this summer will also include renovating the school’s front entry canopy to allow more daylight into the area while providing a covered area for students, staff and families to stand when it rains. The parking lot will also be reconfigured to lengthen the parent vehicle pick up and drop off lanes. The San Francisco Street entry will be closed to help ease traffic congestion along that busy street.


District Administrative Offices Move to New Building, and Avanti High School Plans for Remodel

District administrative offices, currently located on the second and third floors of the Knox Administrative Center at 1113 Legion Way S.E., will begin moving this summer into a new home at 111 Bethel St. into the building formerly housed by The Olympian newspaper. Avanti High School will remain at the Knox Administrative Center and expand offerings, with construction estimated to begin in June 2020. Avanti High School and district leadership staff are currently working with architects to develop a plan for expanding the high school space. The Avanti High expansion project is estimated to be complete in August 2021.


Other Building Improvements Districtwide

Other smaller improvement projects throughout the school district this summer include some track and field improvements, as well as upgrades to school heating and cooling systems.


October 2018


On October 2, 2018, the Olympia School District completed the sale of $72 million in bonds to finance major school renovations across the district. This bond sale is one of three installments of a total of $160 million in bonds authorized by voters in 2016 to pay for major renovations and class size reductions across the school district. While this installment will contribute to many projects, the district is currently focused on remodeling three elementary school buildings (Roosevelt, McLane and Centennial elementary schools), and beginning the remodel of Capital High School, construction of a performing arts center at Capital High, constructing new classrooms at Olympia High School, installing a new turf field at Olympia High, and expanding Avanti High School. Five major projects have been recently completed: mini-buildings of 10 classrooms each were constructed at Roosevelt, McLane, Centennial, Hansen and Pioneer elementary schools. These mini-buildings give the district the capability to reduce class size and help ensure that the district does need to lease space in order to provide basic education services. In addition, the district recently renovated the Capital High School track and installed a turf field for football, soccer and other field sports.


The true interest rate of the bonds sold on October 2 will be 3.56% over 20 years. 


August 2018Roosevelt Interior Remodel

Progress is visible throughout the school district on construction projects approved by voters as part of the February 2016 school improvements bond.

Remodel projects at Roosevelt, Centennial and McLane are well underway and making significant progress this summer. Each school will retain its' original footprint and exterior while being renovated from floor to ceiling. The projects include, among other things, new windows and roof, new electrical, plumbing, heating and cooling systems and seismic upgrades.

In addition, each of the schools will have a more secure entry system and an updated facade. The new buildings will have higher ceilings and much more natural light. Projects will continue through the 2018-19 school year and are scheduled for completion prior to the start of school in September 2019.

The following is a summary of progress made to date on several major construction projects, as well as work planned this school year:

Classroom Mini-Building Construction

One of the most visible bond improvements has been the addition of a two-story classroom mini-building at five of the district’s 11 elementary schools.

Construction began in February 2017, and three of the five mini-buildings (Hansen, Pioneer and Roosevelt elementary schools) opened their doors to students during the 2017-18 school year.

Plans are to open the remaining two classroom mini-buildings at McLane and Centennial elementary schools just prior to the opening of the 2018-19 school year, said Kurt Cross, director of capital planning and construction.

Pioneer Mini-Building Ribbon Cutting

The 10-classroom mini-buildings provide space needed to comply with state-mandated smaller class sizes, while also reducing reliance on portable classrooms.


Each of the mini-buildings has eight classrooms, a music room, a commons/general classroom space for multiple uses, small learning areas between classrooms for small-group teaching and learning, a musical instrument storage area, and an administrative office and storage area. Each building also has a covered walkway connecting it to the main school building at each site, an elevator, two sets of stairs, and student and staff restrooms on each floor.


Exterior finishes and colors are designed to coordinate with the main one-story school buildings on the same campus.

Capital High School Track and Field Improvements

Capital HS Turf Field

A new synthetic turf field and accompanying track improvements, which benefit both Capital High School students and the surrounding community, opened just in time for fa ll sports practice in summer 2017.

The track and field is used year-round thanks to the installation of recreational low-level field lighting. Community members may request purchase of an electronic key card giving them access to the track and field for personal, recreational use during specific public access hours.

Learn how to request a Capital turf and track field key card


Other bond projects completed to date:


  • Olympia High School: Refinished wood floors, including new striping, in the main gym and auxiliary gym; new Light-Emitting Diode (LED) scoreboards (two in the main gym and two in the auxiliary gym); additional wall pads in the main gym;  upgraded heating and cooling units; and roof replacement.
  • Capital and Olympia high schoolsResurfaced tennis courts at both Olympia and Capital high schools.
  • Avanti High School: Installation of fire sprinklers in the adjacent Knox Administrative Center warehouse. The sprinklers allow an area of the warehouse to be used as an Avanti High School  learning space, such as for robotics and a weight room.
  • Olympia Regional Learning Academy (ORLA): Solar panel installation. The school was selected for a State of Washington Department of Commerce 2016 Energy Efficiency Solar Grant award.
  • Thurgood Marshall and Washington middle schools: A new roof at Thurgood Marshall Middle School and new coating improvements to the Washington Middle School roof.

  • Reeves Middle School: Fire alarm system replacement.

  • Jefferson Middle School: Service yard improvements along Conger Avenue N.W. to support the installation of a commercial trash compactor.
  • LP Brown Elementary School: Rearranged how a pipe drains out of the school, thus improving the drain flow from the kitchen and adjacent restroom.

  • Lincoln volunteers working on new playground equipment

    Lincoln Elementary School: Installation of a new playground and grass play field, as well as some interior Light-emitting diode (LED) lighting. Thanks to the many parent and community volunteers who installed the new playground equipment and to the City of Olympia for a grant to help purchase the playground equipment.

  • Madison Elementary School: Installation of two portable classrooms. The classrooms were formerly located at Centennial and Roosevelt elementary schools, which are being remodeled.

  • McKenny Elementary School: Installation of a new heating and cooling system (geothermal heat pump), a new natural grass play field and refurbished baseball field.

  • Transportation department: New fire alarm installation.

  • Elementary schools districtwide: Installation of security cameras completed at elementary schools districtwide.



What is planned during the 2018-19 school year?


  • Elementary school remodels: Construction is underway for remodeling Roosevelt, McLane and Centennial elementary schools. The projects began construction in May 2018 at Roosevelt, followed in June 2018 at Centennial and McLane elementary schools. The remodels are estimated to be completed in August 2019. Classes are continuing at each of the school sites during the remodels. 

  • Capital High School Performing Arts Center: Design work continues this year, followed by construction estimated to begin in June 2019, on a new 500-seat Capital High School Performing Arts Center. The bond project also calls for improvements to the school's exterior, as well as the heating and cooling system. The project is estimated to be completed in August 2020.

  • Olympia High School classroom and field improvements: Design work continues this fall, followed by construction starting in June 2019, on a two-story classroom building near the high school Commons, four additional science rooms located near existing science classrooms and an additional music room near the existing music classroom spaces. Additionally, a synthetic turf field will replace a grass field just east of Ingersoll Stadium. The project is estimated to be completed in August 2020.

  • Avanti High School expansion: Design work will begin this year on the remodel of the Knox Administrative Center to support expansion of Avanti High School. Construction is estimated to begin in 2020.

  • District Administrative Center move to new building: District administrative offices will move in summer 2019 to the building formerly housed by The Olympian newspaper.

  • Thurgood Marshall Middle School roof: New gutters will be installed on the roof at Thurgood Marshall Middle School.


Be sure to visit the school district's Facebook page for additional bond project updates, including news articles, photos and videos.


In related news, the Olympia School District Board of Directors approved the 2017-2022 Capital Facilities Plan. This is a road map that guides the district in its facility-related planning.

View the plan.


Videos of construction work: