Serving the Mercer Island community since 1947
Survey: city does good job
A golden moment
Design Commission meeting is Aug. 22 The City of Mercer Island’s Design Commission will hold its August meeting on Wednesday, Aug. 22, at 7 p.m. in the Council Chambers at City Hall. The commission will hold a study session to discuss mixedused development in the Town Center.
70 percent say city is on the right track By Mary L. Grady
Coat drive for Union Gospel Mission
Students and families on Mercer Island are gearing up for the beginning of the 2012-2013 school year. Northwest Yeshiva High School will begin the new year on Monday, Sept. 27, at 8 a.m., while Mercer Island School District students return to class on Wednesday, Aug. 29. Students at St. Monica return after Labor Day, on Tuesday, Sept. 4. Students who attend the French-American School start on Sept. 5, also at 8 a.m. To learn more about going back to school, visit the Reporter website at www.mi-reporter.com.
MISD Board meeting Thursday, Aug. 23 The Mercer Island School District Board of Directors will host a meeting on Thursday, Aug. 23, at 7 p.m. in the board room. The board plans to discuss the district’s budget for the upcoming school year.
Christoph Schmidt-Warnecke was lucky enough to get off the plane in Newark Airport, N.J., at just the right time to meet Hope Solo and members of the gold medal-winning U.S. Olympic women’s soccer team. The Islander Middle School seventh-grader plays select soccer and was returning from a trip to Europe with his family. Goalie Solo, a UW graduate, talked with him about Washington state sports.
Board weighs ideas, options for schools School Board sorts through building configurations By Megan Managan
The Mercer Island School District Board of Directors held a study session meeting on Thursday, Aug. 16, so that the board could further discuss, and possibly narrow down, options for a sixth school within the district. As part of the work to create a master plan for the North Mercer campus, the district has seen many options for how to use the campus and to how best solve the district’s overcrowding problem. During Thursday’s meeting, the board seemed to narrow down the options to three, but did leave the ability to look at other options on
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the table. All ideas included building a new school on the North Mercer campus, and the board loosely agreed on the fact that they wanted to look more at the elementary and middle school option, but still find the high school option interesting. There was not much interest from the board in going forward with looking at purchasing private property for a new school. “The fourth option [private property] is not appealing at all,” said board member Adair Dingle. The idea of a new high school on the property wasn’t as popular with the board as the others. “I think it’s a huge educational challenge to explain why a new high school is the best option,” said Brian Emanuels. “I’m skeptical that would go over well.”
If the district decided to build an elementary school on the North Mercer campus, MISD would still have to decide how best to expand Islander Middle School. While a new elementary school would solve the capacity problem for elementary students, it would not solely be the answer for crowding at the middle school. The district could choose to completely rebuild IMS, or the option the board seemed to think was a better fit was an addition to the school. The budget-plus option at IMS would increase the capacity to 1,200 students, adding 14 classrooms to the school, along with a much larger gym. The budget-plus option for IMS adds approximately $33.2 million to the elementary school option’s total price. A full rebuild of IMS is estimated to cost around $70.5 million. If the district chooses to make the new school a middle school, the middle school students could be split into two schools, and it’s possible to make the middle
Schools | Page 2
Survey | Page 8
The city received a good report card from citizens who responded to a recent telephone survey about the quality and quantity of city services. On the whole, the city received high marks from Islanders. “The survey shows that people continue to be very satisfied with the services provided by the city,” said Rich Conrad, city manager. City staff say that the survey was perhaps the best way to determine what kinds of services residents want, what concerns they may have and any information gaps that may exist between the city and residents.
It’s never too early to start thinking about cold weather, especially when it comes to helping others. Mercer Island Boy Scout troop member Szu-Raj Kothari will be hosting a clothing drive on Sept. 1 as part of his Eagle Scout project. The project benefits the Seattle Union Gospel Mission. Learn more on page 9.
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Published on Aug 22, 2012