School, water districts approve Madrona groundwater monitoring plan

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Madrona K-8 under construction in mid-July, courtesy the Edmonds School District website.

The boards of the Olympic View Water & Sewer District (OVWSD) as well as the Edmonds School District have officially approved a groundwater monitoring plan and a water service connection agreement for the new Madrona K-8.

The groundwater monitoring plan has been a source of controversy since early this summer, when a disagreement between the two districts caused a delay for opening a newly constructed building on the school’s campus. Olympic View expressed concerns that the groundwater treatment system proposed for the site could contaminate a major water source for the district.

The agreement approved this week was drafted after over 11 hours of mediation with the Department of Ecology (DOE) and the Department of Health (DOH).

The OVWSD board met on Monday night for a special board meeting. Commissioners gathered in an executive session to review the proposal, according to Lynne Danielson, general manager for OVWSD.

“After an hour of in depth discussion, the commissioners determined that the new proposal offered adequate testing and monitoring requirements, so that potential contaminants in the aquifer can be addressed, before it reaches the water distribution system,” Danielson said. “Olympic View will work closely with the Department of Ecology to obtain and monitor testing results over the upcoming years to insure safe drinking water far into the future for our customers.”

The Edmonds School District’s board voted on the proposal on Tuesday night during its regular meeting.

“I know that working together with those two state agencies (DOE and DOH) really put together a groundwater monitoring plan that is going to serve us well,” Ann McMurray, school board president, said.

Kathleen Hodges, principal of Madrona K-8, also attended the meeting and expressed her thanks.

“Our families and staff have felt supported,” she said.

Diana White, Edmonds School Board vice president, thanked McMurray for her representation during mediation, and also thanked Hodges.

“You lead us through this as well, knowing what was best for your families,” she said.

Now that the agreement has been reached, Superintendent Kris McDuffy said she and her team are happy to turn their attention toward creating a plan to move Madrona students into their new building, which is expected to happen sometime in the fall or winter.

One building on the Madrona site is now complete, which is the building that contains classrooms. Initial plans for the school had students moving into the new building as construction on a second building, which will house the school’s administration, continued. That construction is ongoing at the site and is expected to finish next month, on schedule.

Since students could not move into the first building due to the water dispute, they have started the school year at the former Alderwood Middle School site.

–By Natalie Covate

2 Replies to “School, water districts approve Madrona groundwater monitoring plan”

  1. Now if we can compare the final agreement and previously submitted plans we might be able to figure out which entity was truthful during this process.

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  2. I for one am very happy that they could set aside bitter differences and come to substantially the same agreement that was negotiated a year ago. It is sad it came down to mediation and the tens of thousands of dollars to move the school into a temporary location. I feel bad for the students and staff that they need to worry about this and educate our children. We have some of the best educators in the area so I’m confident they will keep the kids first as always. Sad it took so long.

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