Planning for modernization of Huntington Middle School underway - Mar 4, 2019

As part of the construction and modernization bond approved by voters in 2018, Huntington Middle School will undergo a $30 million modernization expecting to take 18 months to complete. Planned improvements are as follows:

  • Replacement of all major MEP (mechanical/HVAC, electric, plumbing)
  • Office relocation and new school entry
  • Second gymnasium
  • Significant cosmetic facelift
  • Track replacement and football field irrigation and renewal (as part of the Athletic Facilities bond projects)

Timeline for this project is:

October – December, 2019Development Plan for Phasing; Selection of Architect
January – April, 2020Communication Plan with Key Stakeholders
February, 2020 – April, 2021Design and Permitting
Spring, 2021 – Summer, 2022Pre-construction and Construction
August, 2022Huntington Middle School Completed


We take our responsibility to be resourceful stewards of the bond funds very seriously. The Kelso School District’s Executive Construction Team analyzed multiple options for completing this project while school is in session through the lens of maximizing student learning, duration of construction, and cost.

The three options reviewed were:

  CostDuration of ConstructionImpact on Student Learning
Option 128 portables on HMS site$3 million15 months


Decreased safety and security, maximum use of portable environment
Option 2Partial portables and partial in HMS$2.5 million28 months


Learning and teaching in construction noise, reduced air quality, decreased safety and security, partial use of portable environment
Option 3Alternative Site$750,00015 months


Classroom environment similar to current learning environment, minimal use of portable environment

After a thorough evaluation, Option 3 was selected and the decision was made to temporarily relocate students for the 2021-22 school year ONLY while construction is taking place. With the opening of Lexington Elementary in the fall of 2021, Catlin Elementary will be vacant and available to be used as the alternative site with minor modifications.

Relocation for one school year will effect families, staff, and students, and will directly impact current 4th and 5th grade students at Huntington feeder elementaries and current Huntington 6th graders.

Kelso School District is committed to the safety and security of staff and students, maximizing student learning within an optimal learning environment, and open and transparent communication.  A survey where community members can share feedback and ask questions is available here:

We are extremely confident in the Huntington staff who will lead this important transition for our Husky students as we navigate complex construction plans. Strategic planning and conversations have started in regards to alternate sites for HMS athletics, music performances, etc. The modernization work ahead of nearly $30 million will leave a lasting impact for future generations. We are proud to be part of it.