Washougal, WA — A parking and circulation project was completed over the summer at Gause Elementary to enhance student and staff safety while increasing parking capacity. These improvements were one of the final projects to be completed using funding by the voter approved 2015 capital facilities bond.
The Gause Elementary Circulation Project added a drive lane in front of the school with a pull-out lane that allows families to drop students off in the driveway rather than on the street. This will reduce congestion along 34th Street during peak pick up and drop off times.
In addition, the north parking lot was expanded to accommodate additional vehicles, and to create a loop for cars to more easily enter and exit without drivers needing to do a 3-point turn at the end of the lot. The parking area includes crosswalks for pedestrians to increase safety and trees to make the area cooler in the warmer months.
“Gause Elementary is excited to start the school year with a major redesign of the front of the school for safer and more efficient student pick up and drop off,” said Tami Culp, Gause Principal. “We are also grateful for the extended north parking lot to provide more adequate parking for our families and community for the school day and events.
“Student safety is a priority in the Washougal School District and these renovations align with the improvements needed to ensure the safety of our students,” said Culp. “We wish to thank the Washougal community for the dollars provided by the Bond for these features to Gause. I would like to invite the community out to Gause to see the investment they have made in our school!”
The Gause project was approved by the WSD Board in January 2018. It was paid for with excess funding resulting from excellent fiscal management of the 2015 $57 million capital bond. This project had been identified as a needed safety improvement during the 2014 Long Range Capital Facility Planning process.
The original bond funded safety and security remodel and upgrades at all schools, a new 550-student Columbia River Gorge Elementary (CRGE) and new 600-student Jemtegaard Middle School (JMS), a new Excelsior Building at Washougal High School, roof and HVAC improvements at Gause and Hathaway Elementary and building a new, modern transportation facility.
The other additional projects funded with excess bond funds were: construction of covered play areas for Gause and Hathaway Elementary Schools; construction of a dry storage building for athletic equipment at Canyon Creek Middle School; and improvements and upgrades to the Fishback Stadium (including replacing existing restrooms with ADA accessible facilities, relocating the concessions area, additional dry and secure equipment storage, replacing wood plank seating with aluminum seats, and installing new visitor side bleachers) all finished during the 2018-19 school year.