Students from Maple Lawn and Daffodil Valley elementary schools started the groundbreaking event with a song called “Mr. Sun,” and participated in breaking ground. Photo by Ray Miller-Still

Students from Maple Lawn and Daffodil Valley elementary schools started the groundbreaking event with a song called “Mr. Sun,” and participated in breaking ground. Photo by Ray Miller-Still

Ground broken for Sumner School District’s new early education center

The Sumner School District broke ground last week on the new Valley Learning Center.

Located behind Sumner Middle School, this new facility will be 35,000 square feet and house 16 new classrooms, four for preschool and 12 for kindergarten, with a student capacity of 250.

Construction, starting this spring, is expected to be completed by fall 2019. The facility is expected to open for the 2019-20 school year.

The funding for this project comes from the $145.6 Capital Projects Bond that was approved by voters in 2016, with a budget of $19.2 million allotted to this facility.

The Sumner-Bonney Lake School District is hoping to relieve the pressure from nearby schools and prepare for the increase in students by moving preschool and kindergarten students to this facility.

“Sumner School District is the fastest growing district in Pierce County,” the district’s website said. “The current demographers report shows that enrollment will rise from approximately 9,000 students to approximately 10,700 students over the next 10 years, an increase of almost 2,000 students from today.”

District officials shared their vision for the Early Learning Center at the groundbreaking event on May 16.

“Early learning centers provide an opportunity to truly customize design for these young minds,” Sumner School District Superintendent Laurie Dent said at the event. “Bringing together preschool and kindergarten programs in the Valley will allow families access to services and staff who have a strong focus and expertise in serving our youngest students.”

“The early learning center will have intentional, cohesive, and efficient focus on the foundation of learning, which is essential for our students,” Sumner School District Elementary Executive Beth Dykman said. “Preschoolers and kindergartners are incredibly active and curious, so with this in mind, we’ve designed the early learning center with spaces that are conducive for exploring and interacting.”

The Early Learning Center is one project of several that the district is working on currently. Bonney Lake Middle School, Bonney Lake High School, and Sumner High School are undergoing expansion work and the new Emerald Hills and Tehaleh Elementary Schools are being built.

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