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New studies give ideas for the future of Hillsboro and Hillwood High Schools

This past spring, Metro Schools’ officials commissioned two site studies of the Hillwood and Hillsboro high school campuses to consider all of the options for meeting their facility needs going forward. These studies are not yet finalized and are still in draft form. Local media obtained draft copies of both studies. When the studies have been finalized, they will be posted on the Metro Schools website for public viewing, along with details of how the community will be able to provide input before district administration makes a recommendation to the Board. The decision to commission the studies was developed in consultation with the Board of Education’s Capital Needs Committee. The contract with the architectural firm was reviewed and approved by the Board on March 11, 2014.

Both Hillsboro and Hillwood are in need of renovation. They are included in Year One of the district’s capital master plan. Those renovations would require significant capital investment, $26 million for Hillwood and $29.9 million for Hillsboro. Before that much money is committed, district administration wants to consider all other ideas in addition to renovation that may better serve students and the school communities.

The studies outline multiple options for Hillwood and Hillsboro including:

  • Build a new Hillwood High School in Bellevue, adjacent to Bellevue Middle School. This site is the center of the Hillwood Cluster and much closer to home for many Hillwood students, who mostly live in Bellevue.
  • Relocate Hillsboro High School to the back of the existing campus with a new school facing Glen Echo Road.

Both of these studies need careful vetting by the Board, district administration, city planners, parents and neighbors of both schools. To that end, a thorough community engagement process will take place in both the Hillwood and Hillsboro communities. Only after community input is received and a traffic study is complete can these ideas move into consideration for the capital master plan.

It is important to remember that these are only ideas at this point. They are not plans, recommendations or even proposals. They are ideas to be considered alongside traditional renovation as the Capital Needs Committee works on an updated capital master plan this fall. Board members and district officials will work with the community to determine the best course of action moving forward.