2013 End-of-the Year Update

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Lydig Construction Company broke ground on the Auburn High School project ten months ago. Since then, a two- and three-story building has risen from the ground along East Main Street. Over a dozen subcontractors and as many as 150 construction workers are on the project site each work day.

The three-story portion of the building facing East Main Street is almost fully enclosed with exterior sheathing, window glass and roof membrane. The two-story portion of the building, directly behind the three-story structure, is further along with brick and precast concrete on the exterior walls.

Steel “Topping Out” Achieved

Thursday, October 31, 2013

During the last week in October of 2013, ironworkers on the Auburn High School project installed the last structural steel beam on the Phase 1 portion of the building. An evergreen tree and American flag were attached to the beam and can be seen from the north side of the new building.

Over 2,750,000 pounds of structural steel will be installed in the new building. Most will be installed in the Phase 1 portion of the building. Work on the Phase 2 portion will begin during the summer of 2014 and be completed a year later.

Structural Steel Going Up

Monday, August 12, 2013

On August 6, a 125-ton crane with a 165-foot high mast began placing structural steel at the Phase 1 portion of the Auburn High School project. The red frame of the new building is now visible from East Main Street.

Steel erection began at the north end of the Phase 1 building near the current PAC and continues southward towards East Main Street. By the end of the month, over one-million pounds of steel will be in place.

Construction Work Surrounds Auburn High School

Monday, July 15, 2013

Construction work began at the south side of Auburn High School in February 2013. This work has engulfed the former baseball field, tennis courts and student parking lot. Construction work began surrounding the rest of the school in July, shortly after students went home for summer break. The school building now sits stoically behind a 6-foot high chainlink construction fence to separate pedestrians from the ongoing construction work. A pathway pierces the fence near the Automotive Technology Building to allow summer-time staff and visitors to enter the building.

New underground utility lines are being installed at the north, east and west sides of the current school building. These sewer, water, storm drain and electrical lines replace existing lines being displaced by the new facility. This work will be done and the construction fencing will be removed before the start of school on September 3, 2013.

Temporary Parking Lot at E Street NE Opens

Monday, April 15, 2013

When Auburn High School students returned from Spring Break this morning they parked their vehicles in a new location. After parking in the student lot on East Main Street since 1980, students and patrons of the PAC are now using a new temporary parking lot along E Street NE next to Washington Elementary.

This temporary parking lot was built by Lydig Construction and will remain in use until fall of 2015. This allows the contractor to demolish the student parking lot along East Main Street and use this area for construction of the new Auburn High School building and bus loading area.

Phase 1 Construction Begins

Monday, February 25, 2013

Lydig Construction, Inc. has begun work on the Phase 1 portion of the Auburn High School Modernization and Reconstruction project. This phase includes construction of a new building facing East Main Street, staff and visitor parking lots, and bus loading area.

The Phase 1 building will have general classrooms, Science and Art classrooms, Marketing and Business Education classrooms, Computer rooms, Career Center, Commons, Kitchen, Café Auburn, Student Store, Library, Woods and Metals labs, and Technology and Drafting classrooms. The Main Office, Attendance and Counseling areas will also be located in the Phase 1 building.

Staff will move into the Phase 1 building in August 2014. Classes will start in this new facility on September 3, 2014.

Ground Breaking Ceremony Held

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Earlier today, Auburn School District students, staff, families and community members gathered to celebrate a new beginning for Auburn High School (AHS) during the official groundbreaking ceremony.

Superintendent Kip Herren and Auburn School Board President Janice Nelson welcomed guests and thanked the community for their commitment and support to provide 21st Century teaching and learning facilities for all students.

Auburn School District student-leaders were recognized by AHS Principal Richard Zimmerman. Additionally, AHS Associated Student Body President Adam Luk shared his excitement about a new facility and how it will impact future generations of Auburn students.

The ceremony concluded as the Auburn School Board, Superintendent, AHS Principal, Architect and Contractor turned the first shovels of soil.

School Board Awards Construction Contract

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

On January 28, the Auburn School Board awarded a contract to Lydig Construction, Inc. for their low responsive bid of $80,570,700 for the Auburn High School Modernization and Reconstruction project. This bid amount includes a Base Bid of $80,300,000 plus Alternate Bid Nos. 1 – 6 in the amount of $270,700.

The offices of Lydig Construction, Inc. are located in Bellevue, Spokane and the Tri-Cities. The company has extensive experience building schools including projects of the size and complexity of the Auburn High School project.

The project Architect, NAC Architecture, has worked on five high school projects with Lydig Construction, Inc. and reports that the company is a highly regarded and capable contractor.

General Contractors Submit Bids

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Sealed bids were received and opened by Auburn School District the evening of January 22. Bids were submitted by four general contractors:

  • Absher Construction
    Base Bid: $81,400,000, Alternate Bid Nos. 1-6: $258,000
  • Bayley Construction
    Base Bid: $82,000,000, Alternate Bid Nos. 1-6: $292,150
  • Cornerstone General Contracting Co.
    Base Bid: $80,437.000, Alternate Bid Nos. 1-6: $426,000
  • Lydig Construction, Inc.
    Base Bid: $80,300,000, Alternate Bid Nos. 1-6: $270,700

School District Advertises for Construction Bids

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Auburn School District is soliciting bids from general contractors for the Auburn High School Modernization and Reconstruction project. Bids are due in mid-January 2013. Work will begin in February 2013.

Community Supports Auburn High School Modernization and Reconstruction Bond

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Residents of the Auburn School District approved the Auburn High School Modernization and Reconstruction Bond on the November 6 General Election ballot. As of November 20, the measure is passing with a 62% combined yes vote between King and Pierce Counties.

Critical Bond Issue on the November 6 Ballot

Thursday, April 12, 2012

The Auburn School Board approved placement of a $110 million bond issue on the ballot for the November 6, 2012 election. The school board agreed it is the right time for the Auburn High School Modernization and Reconstruction project. Homeowners will pay approximately the same amount of school taxes if the bond passes in November. This is possible because Auburn School District bond debt is low.

Other benefits include:

  • The state of Washington will provide approximately $25 million matching funds for the project if the bond passes.
  • The project will save $250,000 annually in operating costs and energy bills – this means $250,000 more for school programs every single year.
  • Current construction prices are highly competitive making it a great time to obtain bids.
  • Delaying the project will increase the cost $3 million each year because of inflation.
  • The construction project will create jobs within the community.

Approval of the bond issue will allow all students in the school district to have equal opportunities and high quality facilities.

Bond Issue Missed 60% Passage Requirement

Monday, March 05, 2012

While a majority of voters in Auburn School District voted yes on February 14, 2012 for the Auburn High School Modernization and Reconstruction project bond issue, the vote did not meet the 60% threshold necessary for passage. The measure received a 56.24% yes vote.

Auburn High School is an aging facility that is no longer cost-effective to operate and maintain. Deficiencies include:

  • outdated classrooms and labs,
  • leaking roofs,
  • poor air quality,
  • inadequate heating, ventilation and cooling systems,
  • deficient seismic structural support,
  • an open campus with 83 entry doors that are difficult to supervise and control,
  • unsafe bus loading area,
  • a shortage of event parking, and
  • lack of current technology.

The Auburn School Board is committed to eliminating inadequacies at Auburn High School and improving the learning environment for all students. The School Board will evaluate the project and consider resubmitting the Auburn High School Modernization and Reconstruction bond to voters.

School Board Approves Bond Issue

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The Auburn School Board approved a final bond package at its November 28 business meeting to fund critical improvements at Auburn High School. The election will be held February 14, 2012.

The Auburn High School Modernization and Reconstruction Bond proposal seeks $110 million for the project. Funds from the bond sale along with $10 million from the school district’s Capital Projects Fund will finance the modernization and reconstruction of Auburn High School.

Over the past 10 years, the school district has established a surplus in the Capital Projects Fund through prudent management of its building construction program. The surplus funds will be used to help finance the Auburn High School project and will ultimately reduce the tax impact on citizens.

School taxes will stay level for Auburn homeowners with the passage of the bond.

School Board Reviews Project Design

Monday, September 26, 2011

The Auburn School Board reviewed the Auburn High School project design at its September 26 business meeting.

NAC Architecture presented the Design Development scheme including a review of the proposed site plan, floor plans and building exterior.

At the conclusion of the presentation, the school board authorized the administration to proceed with the Construction Document Phase of the project. This 12-month phase requires the design team to prepare detailed design, construction and permit documents.

Winter and Summer Break Provides Opportunity for Site Investigations

Sunday, July 31, 2011

During the 2010 winter break, engineers and technicians from Shannon & Wilson, Inc., a geotechnical engineering firm, dug and drilled holes into the dirt at Auburn High School to investigate soil conditions. These investigations are an important part of the design process. The information collected will be used to design the foundation system that will support the new facility.

Investigations revealed a variety of soil conditions including buried logs that were deposited decades ago by a river channel that meandered through the school property. Because of these varied conditions, additional soil investigations were conducted during the summer of 2011. This included the use of ground penetrating radar and geoprobe soil sampling to help locate areas of buried logs and woody debris. Water infiltration tests were also conducted.

Additionally, Cascade Land Surveying and Mt. View Locating Services, LLC identified the location and depth of buried utility lines. The information collected will be added to the topographic and utility survey being prepared by Cascade Land Surveying for the project.

36 Design Review Subcommittees Provide Design Input

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Between February and June of 2011, 36 subcommittees, comprised of 110 individuals, met with NAC Architecture to review and provide input about the Auburn High School project design. The 36 subcommittees, which also provided input for the Educational Specifications, represent every academic program and facility component in the school from Art to Science to Building Technology to Playfields. Members of a 12-person Design Review Committee participated in the subcommittee meetings and oversaw the subcommittee process.

NAC Architecture met for over 100 hours with the subcommittees and will incorporate their input into the project design.

Schematic Design Phase Complete

Monday, January 24, 2011

On January 24, 2011, Auburn School District Executive Director of Capital Projects Jeffrey Grose and representatives of NAC Architecture presented the Schematic Design scheme for the Auburn High School project to the Auburn School Board. During the Schematic Design Phase, NAC Architecture studied over 40 site layout schemes and a variety of floor plan options. These options were refined with input from the project’s Design Review Committee.

After a five-month process, the Design Review Committee agreed upon a Schematic Design scheme that:

  • Expands and modernizes the school site.
  • Maintains and modernizes the Performing Arts Center and Automotive Technology Building while removing the remainder of buildings on the school campus.
  • Constructs a new classroom building facing East Main Street.
  • Constructs new buildings to connect the new classroom building on East Main Street with the modernized Performing Arts Center and Automotive building.
  • Creates a new entry facing 4th St. NE that serves the Performing Arts Center and a new gymnasium.

The Schematic Design scheme provides a preliminary design for the project. This scheme will be further developed and refined during the next phase, the Design Development Phase. After the presentation, the Auburn School Board authorized the administration to proceed with the Design Development Phase.

Educational Specifications Complete

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

On July 6, 2010, the school district’s planning consultant, APRA, completed the Educational Specifications for the Auburn High School project. The 348-page document identifies the design guidelines and space requirements for the project.

APRA met with 36 design review subcommittees over a four-month period to obtain their input. These Educational Specifications will be used by the project architect as a road map for the design of the project.

Architect Selected for the Auburn High School Project

Monday, May 24, 2010

On May 24, 2010, the Auburn School Board selected NAC Architecture as architect for the Auburn High School Modernization and Reconstruction project. NAC Architecture specializes in educational facilities and has designed over 130 major K-12 projects. This includes Auburn School District’s Lakeland Hills Elementary School and the modernization of Washington Elementary School.

Guy Overman, the principal-in-charge and lead designer for NAC Architecture, has over 32 years of architectural experience and specializes in the design of high school projects. The firm’s project manager, Brent Compton, has worked on more than 20 high school projects including a number of complex modernization and expansion projects.

NAC Architecture’s design team includes consultants from Coughlin Porter Lundeen, Weisman Design Group, Hargis Engineers, Ricca Newmark Design and the Robinson Company.

Design Review Committee Established

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

On February 10, 2010, Auburn School District established a Design Review Committee for the Auburn High School Modernization and Reconstruction project. The committee will assist in preparation of the Educational Specifications and will oversee the design of the project. This 12-person committee includes members of the school district’s administrative staff and representatives from Auburn High, Auburn Mountainview and Auburn Riverside High Schools.

The committee’s work will continue until completion of the Design Development Phase in November 2011.

Educational Specification Consultant Selected for the Auburn High School Project

Monday, February 08, 2010

On February 8, 2010, Auburn School District selected APRA (Advance Planning and Research for Architecture) to prepare Educational Specifications for the Auburn High School project. The Educational Specifications will define the space planning and architectural requirements for the project.

APRA is one of the few consultants in the Pacific Northwest that specializes in preparing architectural design programs and educational specifications. The firm has 29 years of experience that includes work on over 100 school facilities. APRA also served as a consultant to the State of Washington Office of Superintendent of Public Instructions in updating and revising the state’s School Facility Development Manual.

APRA previously prepared Educational Specifications for six Auburn School District projects. The architects for these projects have applauded APRA for providing comprehensive, detailed and well-documented Educational Specifications.

Auburn School District Completes Facilities Master Plan

Friday, October 31, 2008

After a two-year process, Auburn School District completed the 2008 Facilities Master Plan and presented data from the master plan to the school board in October 2008. This data will be used by the school board and administration to plan for future capital improvements levy and bond propositions.

Steering Committee Recommends Replacement of Auburn High School

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

In September 2008, Auburn School District Superintendent Kip Herren appointed a Facilities Master Plan Steering Committee to review school district facilities, review enrollment and facility data, and provide recommendations to the superintendent. The Steering Committee completed a report with their findings and recommendations on October 21, 2008.

The Steering Committee, comprised of administrators, principals and community members, met for over 40 hours to complete the following tasks:

  • Visit selected facilities to compare the condition and quality of new and older facilities.
  • Review facility data for all school district facilities.
  • Review and provide recommendations for over 2,900 proposed facility improvements.
  • Review and provide recommendations for new facilities, portable classrooms and property acquisitions.

The Steering Committee’s findings included a recommendation for the replacement of Auburn High School. This recommendation was based upon the following conclusions:

  • The existing building and grounds do not meet the school district’s recommended facility standards and the school should be replaced or significantly modernized.
  • The cost to remodel the school to meet the school district’s facility standards exceeds 70% of the cost of a new building and therefore should be replaced.
  • The existing building is past its economic life span and is no longer cost-effective to remodel.

Steering Committee recommendations will be included in the Auburn School District 2008 Facilities Master Plan.

Auburn School District Begins Work on Facilities Master Plan

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

In 2006, the Auburn School District Capital Projects Department began work on a Facilities Master Plan. This included an in-depth review of all school district facilities and preparation of a 10-year strategic plan for addressing the school district’s facility needs.

Preparation of a Facilities Master Plan complies with the recommendations of the 2004-05 Citizen’s Ad Hoc Committee and follows the school district’s tradition of and commitment to long-range planning.

2004-05 Citizen’s Ad Hoc Committee Provides Facility Recommendations

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

In October 2004, a Citizen’s Ad Hoc Committee of 60 citizens was commissioned to evaluate specific issues and provide recommendations that would ensure a continued high level of educational excellence in the school district. The areas of evaluation were:

  • Review the need for new facilities and the need for renovation of existing facilities during the next 10 years.
  • Study the district’s instructional technology program.
  • Study the district’s role in childhood fitness and nutrition.
  • Study community use of district facilities and equipment.

The committee completed their work and submitted a 2004-05 Citizen’s Ad Hoc Committee report with their findings and recommendations in August 2005. This report included the following facility recommendations:

  • Conduct an assessment of all school district facilities.
  • Begin a capital improvements program to modernize and expand existing facilities to meet school district standards.
  • Replace any facility or portion of facility if the cost to improve the facility is greater than 70% of the estimated cost of a new building.

These recommendations will be addressed by the school district in a future Facilities Master Plan.


  • 2013 End-of-the Year Update - Lydig Construction Company broke ground on the Auburn… more +
  • Steel “Topping Out” Achieved - During the last week in October of 2013, ironworkers… more +
  • Structural Steel Going Up - On August 6, a 125-ton crane with a 165-foot high mast… more +

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