A New Issaquah High School by 2022


Erinn BLo

PLANS FOR A NEW HIGH SCHOOL: Here we can see the plans for the new high school, supposed to be finished in September of 2022. The lot will be squished right next to the retirement area of Providence point. The lot may contain a high school, elementary school, parking lot, track, baseball fields, and much more.

Jackson Chollman, Staff Writer

For students, the overcrowding in the Issaquah High School is a major setback, and many people have expressed their desire for a new school. The district and City Council have heard the complaints and have a plan to solve this growing issue: a new high school near the plateau neighboring Providence Point, a retirement area. The new school is planned to be finished in September 2022 and reduce Issaquah and Skyline’s school populations.

During the Issaquah City Council meeting on Nov. 12, many questions referring to this topic arose, including where the school should go, when it should be put in, and why this is such an urgent issue that needs to be addressed. The public opinion was to put the lot on open land near the retirement community, Providence Point, by the Sammamish plateau. This unused land is in good condition for the school, with stable ground and convenient placement, so why has not construction started? Freshmen Ava Divine states how she “doesn’t think it’s that smart, the high schoolers are loud, and the retired will be very annoyed.” Another recommendation that was brought up was the removal of Tibbetts Valley Park, replacing it with the new school. Freshmen Nick Newberry explains how he “would not like it because that’s where we play baseball games.” With the removal of the park, many people, kids, and adults will be negatively impacted due to the decreased space for grassy fields and play area, which is used by a vast variety of sports. A growing issue that would most certainly impact a larger population of people is the traffic. Freshmen Aidan Varzali predicts that the “traffic will be very clogged and congested.” I feel like wherever the new high school is located, traffic will always be affected, as the transportation of students driving, teachers, and buses will always add to the growing problem of the horrors of commuting.

Another issue that affects the population of a school is the teacher work and students’ learning environment. With the amount of kids at IHS, many teachers need to share and change classrooms throughout the school day. Because of this, many teachers are unavailable for enough one- on- one time with the students. Freshmen Riley Newton said that overcrowding also results in harming mental health “because there are more teachers sharing classes which may affect the kids.” This is especially possible because a higher level of stress may be introduced with the absence of one-on-one time for students and not being able to fully get the help they need. If the plan for this school is not delayed any longer, then many students will be moved from both Issaquah and Skyline to make a new school. Consequently, many students will have to leave their friends that they are accompanied by right now. Varzali, Newton, Newberry, and Divine all dislike the idea that they would have to move or their friends and not be able to be with them anymore. Although they are still able to see their friends outside of school, for many students this change could be detrimental to their learning and social interactions at school.

There is no doubt that a new high school in the district will be beneficial, with the ability to reduce school population size, which would allow students to have more time with the teacher to get questions answered and have more space in the halls and classes. The downside is that many students will have to leave their friends and not be able to see them at school anymore. Varzali noticed how the school will “probably be postponed, and that nothing is on time.” When it remains to be to will this $120,000,000 school be finished, and where the final location will be for the property.