Marysville school faces enrollment crisis

MARYSVILLE – As many as 100 Sunnyside Elementary School students from three neighborhoods could end up attending a different school next fall.

Although enrollment in the Marysville School District fell this year and could again next autumn, it has been steadily increasing around Sunnyside, the district’s southernmost campus.

Sunnyside enrollment is now about 630 students and is growing fast with new housing units opening nearby.

“It’s an older school, and the infrastructure won’t hold 700-plus students,” said Jane Colson, the Sunnyside principal.

The campus will add two more portables next fall but doesn’t have the room in its one multipurpose room, library and other areas for continued expansion. Nor does it have the electrical capacity and bathroom space for more students.

“The daily schedule is maxed out right now,” Colson said. “If I have to add more classrooms, I don’t know where to put them for lunch, specialist time and for recess.”

School district leaders met with dozens of parents Thursday and have set another meeting for 7 p.m. July 15 at the school. Letters will be sent next week to affected families.

Sunnyside employees hope to make recommendations to the Marysville School Board for its July 19 meeting.

Affected neighborhoods include:

* A rectangular stretch from State Avenue to 47th Avenue NE and south of Fourth St.

* Another rectangular stretch on the southwest corner of 64th Street NE and 67th Avenue NE.

* A neighborhood straddling both sides of 71st Avenue NE from about 40th Street NE to Soper Hill Road.

Students from the different neighborhoods could be sent to Liberty or Marshall elementary schools where there is more capacity.

However, those are just options for now, said Judy Parker, a school district spokeswoman.

“No decision has been made,” Colson said. “We are trying to get people’s input.”

Whatever decision is made could be for the short term. The district eventually hopes to build a new elementary school in the south end of the district, but would need to pass a bond measure first.

“We have 435 houses in the upper 71st Street area that are Sunnysiders, and we have on the lower end of Sunnyside Boulevard another slotted housing development for 200,” Colson said. “We just won’t have room.”

Reporter Eric Stevick: 425-339-3446 or stevick@heraldnet.com.

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