Frequently Asked Questions About Thornton Creek Elementary School

Capital Projects and Planning Questions:

  1. When will the construction fence be installed?
    1. May 2015
  2. When will project construction begin? End?
    1. April 27, 2015: The district will issue a notice to proceed to the contractor which allows him to begin planning and procurement efforts for the project
    2. May 4, 2015: The contractual date that the contractor will have full access to the site.
    3. Substantial Completion we be as follows:
      1. May 23, 2016: Child care areas
      2. July 11, 2016: The balance of the building
      3. August 21, 2016: all site work including the work outlined in the phase 4 drawings (attached)
  3. When will the south parking lot be closed when the construction fence is installed?
    1. We can only assume that the south parking lot will be closed beginning May 4, 2015 when the contractor’s site access begins. (note progress schedule which defines how the contractor will build the project is due 10-days after the 4/27/15 NTP or 5/7/15)
  4. How will transportation be managed during and after construction?


    1. The Contractor shall retain the responsibility for the traffic operations. The Contractor shall cooperate with the Owner so that traffic flow is least impeded by the execution of the work under this Contract. In the event of conflict, the Owner shall be the sole judge of the adequacy of the Contractor's protective measures to assure the flow of traffic.
    2. The Contractor understands the special requirement of maintaining the facility in full operation concurrent with the construction activity, and shall provide continuous and safe access by the Owner to all areas of the site not specifically designated for work by the Contractor under each phase. The Contractor's access shall be limited to the work, staging, delivery and parking areas indicated on the drawings unless otherwise authorized by the Owner.
    3. Whenever the Contractor's activity affects vehicular or pedestrian traffic the Contractor shall install and maintain lighted barriers, signals, separators, etc. for the safety of the public. Provide flaggers for traffic control as required to comply with City of Seattle and other agency requirements.


    1. Prior to starting any work the Contractor shall submit to the City of Seattle and the Owner a detailed plan of his proposed method for controlling traffic. The proposed traffic control plan shall show and describe the proposed locations and time durations covering the following:
      1. Vehicular traffic routing.
      2. Traffic blockage anticipated to be caused by the work under this Contract.
      3. Trucking plan for delivery of materials and haul-off of debris, soils and hazardous material.
      4. On-site parking plan meeting City of Seattle requirements.
      5. Compliance with City of Seattle requirements.


    1. Other than as shown on the approved traffic control plans, at no time shall the Contractor's operations interfere with the safe and orderly operation of Owner occupied areas of the facility or the neighborhood. Encroachment by the Contractor's operations will not be permitted.
    2. For the duration of the Contract, the Contractor shall immediately repair or replace any and all appurtenances damaged or destroyed in the performance of work included herein.
    3. Upon completion of the work, temporary traffic maintenance items furnished by the Contractor shall remain his property and shall be removed from the site by the Contractor.
    4. The Contractor shall utilize water application methods to control dust on access streets and the project site to the satisfaction of the Architect and the Owner. Power sweepers shall be used to clean streets of dirt along haul routes.
  5. When will the GC have their transportation/traffic plan in-place?
    1. See “a” under Submittals in question 4 above (in-place prior to the start of work)
  6. Have GC and subcontractor employees been background checked?
    1. Background checks for every on-site employee of the contractor and subcontractor are a requirement of our specifications.
  7. How many workers will be on-site each day?
    1. The amount of workers will vary greatly during construction depending on the type of work being executed. It could be up to 50 to 75 workers working onsite during peak construction, but normally it will be between 10 - 30 workers. Once the contractor has been issued the NTP and presents their schedule, we will have a better idea.
  8. Scheduling of packing and unpacking, playground construction?
    1. Packing: Will be coordinated by the Capital Departments move coordinator late in the 2015-16 school year and should be completed no later than 1-week after
    2. Furniture Fixtures and Equipment installation at the new school begins July 9, 2016 and will include the installation of furniture, technology, equipment (i.e. custodial) and curriculum. Keep in mind that this effort is being coordinated with six schools across the District within a 3-month window.
    3. Unpacking: Teacher’s will have the week prior to their official start date to unpack and settle into their classrooms. The district pays each teacher 8hrs to pack and 8hrs to unpack.
    4. Playground construction:
      1. The grass playfield is scheduled to be completed by the contractor on July 16, 2016. An option to sod the field as opposed to seeding is included to ensure the field is ready for use when the school opens.
      2. The hard and soft surface play areas are scheduled to be completed by August 16, 2016.
      3. The playground installation can begin any time after August 16, 2016 which is the date of phase 4 completion. The School needs to decide if they want the community build to occur before school opens or after school opens.
  9. When will Thornton Creek staff get access to the new building?
    1. The move to the new building will begin July 9, 2016. This effort includes the installation of furniture, equipment, technology, curriculum and the packed materials from the existing building to the new building.
    2. Teacher access will be one-week prior to their first official day of work; again the teachers are paid 8 hours to pack and 8 hours to unpack.

Teaching and Learning and Enrollment Planning Questions

  1. Will Thornton Creek become a K-8?
    1. There are no plans for Thornton Creek K-5 program to become a K-8 program
  2. Is Thornton Creek’s configuration likely to be changed to become a K-8?
    1. There are no plans to reconfigure the building to become a K-8
  3. What is the capacity of the building?
    1. The new facility is designed for 660 students
  4. How many students are planned for the building when it opens for the 2016-17 school year
    1. This has not been determined. This is a larger conversation between enrollment and Teaching and Learning.
  5. How long will it take to reach capacity?
    1. See question #4
  6. Will the program grow one grade at a time beginning in 2016-17?
    1. This has not been determined. This is a larger conversation between enrollment and Teaching and Learning.
  7. Will newly hired teachers be trained in program design core curricula?
    1. New teachers to this program will be given the same Professional Development as any other new teacher to the district
  8. How and when will new teachers be trained in Expeditionary Learning?
    1. This is a building level decision
    2. This decision will be made by the District’s department of Teaching and Learning
  9. Who funds the professional development of district directed growth?
    1. This is a Teaching and Learning level decision
  10. SPS budget allocation expectations of program parent group Core staff-K-2 literacy-class instructional support (Int. 1351), Professional development costs
    1. Please clarify question

Site Questions:

  1. What is the plan for using the Decatur building after Thornton Creek moves out?
    1. A future use for the Decatur building has not been determined.
  2. What will happen to the Annex building after the TC program moves out?
    1. A future use for Annex building has not been determined.


  1. What are the major changes that will happen to the playground?
    1. The existing outdoor recreational facilities will include a natural grass field, covered play area and both hard and soft surface play areas which collectively meet the current educational specifications for a K-5 school facility. Roses Playground will be retained receive drainage and safety surfacing improvements.
    2. The existing field reconfigured into a 1.9 acre natural grass field capable of hosting either two T-ball games simultaneously or one soccer game. The design for the new field includes (2) dugouts, (2) backstops, concreate pads for bleachers, trash receptacles and limited electrical power for pitching equipment or a portable PA system. The design also includes an option to install sod over seed to ensure the field is “established” and ready for use once school opens in the fall of 2016.
    3. The soft play is divided into three distinct areas
      1. Area 1: experiential learning area for digging
      2. Area 2: 5-12 years old play structure; wood chip base; designed by the school
      3. Area 3: 2-12 years old play structure; rubber safety surface base; designed by the school
  2. Is there an opportunity for input?
    1. YES
  3. How can I help?

Step 1

Form a school based committee that will be involved in selecting playground equipment. Should be comprised of staff, students, parents, neighbors, District staff

Step 2

Start visiting some schools with newer play structures to get an idea of what’s out there. If you see some you like that aren’t listed here, let us know. There are some structures you might see at Parks that we would NOT approve. The following list is a good start; I’ve added a few more.

View Ridge

BF Day

Schmitz Park

Sand Point

Wing Luke




Olympic View






West Woodland

Step 3

Discuss among your committee what type of equipment you are looking for: climbing, sliding, overhead strengthening, exploratory, spinning, balance, “tree fort”.

Step 4

  • The established budget for play equipment is $45K. The playground infrastructure is provided through the construction contract
  • The SPS Capital Department will work with the selection committee to develop a Request for Proposal (RFP) for the procurement of the equipment
  • The school based playground committee will select from the RFP’s submitted.
  • Selection criteria is typically (1) play value; (2) price; (3) delivery timeframe; and (4) responsiveness … or similar, with weighting as deemed appropriate.
  • We will assume community-build by volunteers, overseen by Professional Installation Supervisor (associated with the selected vendor/manufacturer.)
  • Also assume Installation Supervisor lays out and augers all holes, one to two day prior to build-day.
  • The SPS Capital Department will work with the selection committee to develop a schedule for issuing the RFP, and the schedule for Proposal evaluations and selection.

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