School district begins construction projects in Washougal

Ground breaking ceremonies are held for transportation facility, Excelsior High School

Excitement filled the air as elected officials and Washougal School District leadership broke ground on its first two bond projects.

Construction on the new $2.3 million transportation facility and $4.8 Excelsior High School will officially begin in June.

The projects are part of the voter-approved $57.68 million capital bond, approved by voters in February 2015.

“This is a real opportunity to celebrate,” said Superintendent Mike Stromme. “Because of a great amount of significant work that went into the bond campaign, we are now providing for our community and our future.”

Together with hard hats and gold shovels, he, School Board members and city of Washougal officials broke ground on the transportation facility, located behind the district office on Evergreen Way. Then, they hopped on a school bus to the second ground breaking of the day, at Excelsior High School. For years, the alternative school has been housed in aging portables on 39th Street, next to Washougal High School.

“This is a record for the city of Washougal,” Stromme noted. “Two ground breakings within an hour.”

At Excelsior, the groundbreaking ceremony’s participants also included students and administrators.

“This is a special place,” Stromme said. “We have academic programs in place that will help these students prepare for life, graduation and college. As we take down the building this June, we will begin looking at programs that best meet student needs.”

The 10,000 square foot building will include three classrooms, outdoor learning spaces and a flexible use commons area.

Other bond projects include a $47 million, new 400-student elementary and 600-student Jemtegaard Middle School, $1.2 million to safety and security improvements, and $1.6 million in roof and HVAC improvements, All projects are expected to be complete by August 2018. For more information on bond construction, visit