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The Issaquah Press
Issaquah, Washington
January 14, 2009     The Issaquah Press
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January 14, 2009
 

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A6 WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 14, 2009 THE ISSAQUAH PRESS Issaquah High School one step closer to construction starting BY CHANTELLE LUSEBRINK Issaquah School District officials are one step closer to breaking real ground at Issaquah High School. The city's Development Commission recently voted Jan. 7 to recommend the City Council approve the district's master site plan and site development permits. "We hope to have the project go before council on Feb. 2, Christopher Wright, a senior plan- ner for the city, wrote in an e-mail. The rebuildincludes resituating many of the existing buildings and building three three-story class- room wings, as well as a perform- ing arts center and new gymnasi- um facilities. The currem sports fields, except for new tennis courts, will remain in place. The school will be 285,000 square feet and will serve about 1,850 students in 85 classroom facilities, expected to open in fall 2010. The rebuild was set to begin demolition and construction in June; however, the project has encountered delays with city offi- cials, despite them and district offi- cials meeting since July 2007. Those delays included a decision on what type of traffic mitigation the district would need to pay to the city to offset new traffic to the high school, and a technical design issue with the inside corridors and commons area off the three class- room wings. Because the high school project requires a master site plan, as well as a site development permit from the city, it requires the highest level of review by city officials, Wright said. When asked ff the process had been slower or faster than other projects, he said, it is difficult to compare. "Master site plans don't happen very often," maybe once eve cou- ple of years, Wright wrote. 'But I think it has been pretty typical for such a high level of review. After discussions with city staff members, district officials agreed to help make roadway improve- ments to Second Avenue and Sunset Way, and the intersection of Second Avenue and Front Street. Each intersection will get new turn-only lanes to help ease con- gestion during peak travel times. Residential street parking at Second Avenue and Sunset Way will be reduced to accommodate the new turn-only lanes. In addition, the district will make improvements to Second Avenue directly in front of the school. New turn-only lanes, side- walks and crosswalks are in the design plans. The Development Commission's recommendationputs district offi- cials one step further but City Council approval is still necessary. "Before construction can begin, the building permit and public works permit need to be issued," Wright wrote. "The Building Department and the Public Works Department are currently review- ing those applications." District officials did submit their master site plan and site develop- ment permits, as well as their con- struction permits, concurrently, which has saved time, Wright added. District officials will open the project for public bid to seek a gen- eral contractor by mid- to late January. District officials and architects at the Development Commission said they would like to have the remain- ing permits in hand so that they can start construction in March. Reach Reporter Chantelle Lusebrink at 392-6434, ext. 241, or clusebrink@iss- press.com. Comment on this story at www.ssaquahpress.com. THOMAS R. QUICKSTAD, DDS FAMILY DENTISTRY ON THE PLATEAU SINCE 1989 SERVICES AVAILABLE: Preventive Cleanings Digital X-ray (75% less radiation) Cosmetic Veneers Sealants Crowns Dentures Teeth Bleaching Bridges Extractions Fillings Implants 425391-1331 3707 Providence Point. Dr. SE NEW PATIENTS WELCOME Issaquah, WA 98029 Bypass finalized BY JIM FEEHAN The final document regarding the proposed Southeast Bypass was approved Jan. 5 by the City Council and forwarded to the Federal Highway Administration. The document, called a record of decision, reiterates and officially acknowledges the City Council's selection of the no-build option for the proposed road. The record of decision was pro- vided to the city in draft form, to which the council could submit changes for possible inclusion by the Highway Administration. The council voted unanimously to approve some edits to the pro- ject's final record of decision. A majority of the council had expressed dissatisfaction with the draft, which they said was writ- ten with a strong bias against the council s no-build decision. "The edits reflected the city is more supportive of the no-bizild decision," said Councilwoman Maureen McCarry. The council did not receive any additional comments since council members first discussed the docu- ment at their Dec. 15 meeting. Councilman Fred Butler, a bypass proponent, said the issue is far from closed. "While I can't predict what will happen in the future, I believe some sort of bypass will be in our future in five, 15 or possibly20 years from now," he said. Originally proposed in 1996 as a way to shunt traffic between the Sunset Interchange on Interstate 90 and Issaquah- Hobart Road, the bypass con- sumed a dozen years of study and $4 million of city money without ever starting construction. For a number of reasons, the City Council concluded that the ct was not worth pursuing er. In particular, council mem- bers said the road would not do anything to fix traffic congestion. Other reasons were that it was not consistent,with the city's Comprehensive Plan, it did not address transit needs, it would have adversely affected downtown businesses, it did not support the city's goal of sustainability and it was not reasonably funded. Christmas fund closes 12 percent over goal The Merry Christmas Issaquah emergency aid fund has closed its annual fund drive 12 percent over its goal at $55,353, topping the prior year s high of $49,595. The number of donors is also up 12 percent. This year, 180 donations were received, com- pared to 160 last year. "The generosity of the commu- nity is amazing," said Pat Stegner, president of Issaquah Church and Community Services, the nonprof- it organization that uses the money to assist local families fac- ing a financial emergency. Stegner said that assistance in early December had to be limited to no more than $100 per family, although utility bill or rent requests are always more. There just weren't enough funds to go any further, she said, without dipping into the 2009 budget. With the extra donations over the goal of $50,000 from Merry Christmas Issaquah, Issaquah Church and Community Services is now prepared to help more families. With unemployment rates so high and storm-related expenses in the past month, it is expected that the need will be higher than ever. Donations can be made year- round. Send them directly to ICCS, P.O. Box 669, Issaquah, WA 98027. Winter Hours MON-WED 6:3OAM-9:OOPM THURS -SAT 6:3OAM-II:OOPM SUNDAY 8:3OAM-6:OOPM Now serving: epresso coffee tea )aStries gelato and more @:  "  Cxi]man Village #t7 '5 t27 8161 * www.grimaldiscoffee.com Tesla PIIOM PAGE A1 he's still learning the ins and outs of the roadster after finally hav- ing possession for two days. For example, he knew the main lithium batte that powers the car is actually located in the trunk. But when he opened the hood in the front for the first time, he was surprised by how little was there. "l don't know what that is," he said, pointing to what appeared to be another, smaller battery. Is that the engine? You can tell I m an environmentalist, not a car person." While other electric/hybrid cars have been on the market, few have caught Mullet's eye as did the Tesla. "The others look like glorified golf carts," he said. Even the marketing scheme lured Mullet into paying the hefty $100,000 price. While others waited for the Tesla Motor Co. to get more established or work out some of its production delays, Mnllet's faith in the product got him one of the first 100 in the sig- nature series, No. 68 to be pre- cise. "The idea is to give your money up front, and the initial buyers are essentially funding the devel- opment of a planned four-door sedan version," Mullet said. "It was almost like being an investor in the company:" Formerly employed in the financial and banking markets, Mullet likes his ability to see a good investment opportunity. Take his home in the Highlands. He had 30 solar panels installed, double the usual amount, to power both his home and the electric car he knew was some- day coming. The charging hose actually came a couple months ago. So now, he can park the Tesla in the garage and have it recharged by solar-generated power after only two or three hours. Even ff the driver should exceed the 240- mile range (where most other hybrid electric cars have only a 40-50 mile range), the car comes with a backup battery to provide a few extra miles so it doesn't completely leave the owner stranded. "It also comes with a travel charger that you can plug into a regular outlet that takes probably 20 hours to recharge, he said. With three children, the road- ster is hardly the family car (he's ghot a Toyota Prius minivan ybrid for that). The Tesla comes with two speeds -- drive and reverse. Being all electric, there are no gears to cycle through. It just keeps accelerating. Quietly. I truly enjoyed the feeling Tesla encouraged, motivating buyers to partner in the idea of a fully electric car," Mullet said. "If the industry could figure a way to combine solar power and electric cars and ship them to the rest of the world, this could be the answer to all our dilemmas." The Tesla also found a way to combine Mullet's loves of envi- ronmentalism and electric cars with his third love -- roller coast- ers. He demonstrated to a pas- senger the Tesla's acceleration, which was very similar to a roller coaster shooting out of the sta- tion When they returned to Mullet's driveway, the breathless passenger was overheard saying simply, "Wow." Reach Reporter David Hayes at 392- 6434, ext. 237 or dhayes@isspress.com. Comment on this story at www.issaquah- ress. com. H & H Saloon The lssaqualt r is 109Years00 = ! The Issaquah Independent on January 18, 1900. Today, The Press remains locally owned, and more committed than ever to being a strong connector for its readers, Community b our passion. Journalism h our means. If the economy has you trying to determine the best choice for your money, I recommend checking that earns % APY Plus, receive a free Swiss* eco-tote with your new checking account, Carol K. Nelson Preeldeat and Chief Executive Off-teer For PerSonal accounts only, Annual Percentage Yield is accurate as of 1/7/09. Thts is a variable rate account and the rae may change at any time without notlce. The minimum daity balance to obtain 2.00% APY is $2.500. If the balance fails below $2,500 at any time In the statement cycle. e APY will be 0.25%,