Madrona negotiations remain in stalemate, school district finalizes plans to move to Alderwood MS

Madrone School under construction in early June, courtesy Edmonds School District website.

The Edmonds School District is moving forward with plans to move Madrona K-8 to the old Alderwood Middle School site for the start of the 2018-2019 school year.

District officials sent a letter to Madrona families on Monday evening, stating “Although both parties made considerable effort to compromise, Olympic View Water & Sewer District (OVWSD) has rejected Edmonds School District’s latest proposal for an agreement to provide water service at Madrona. Our school transition task force is now working to finalize the logistics of moving Madrona K-8 students and staff to the former Alderwood Middle School for the start of the 2018-2019 school year.”

The letter continues to say that the Edmonds School District offered to provide additional testing, additional monitoring wells and additional indemnification language, even though such measures are not required by the state Department of Ecology or the City of Edmonds.

OVWSD posted an update on its website, stating that a recent proposal submitted by the Edmonds School District on June 21 was acceptable and “accurately reflected several hours of negotiations.” However, OVWSD goes on to say that the water district “can no longer support” an alternative proposal submitted by the school district June 25.

“Water service will be provided to the Madrona K-8 school upon completion of water main construction and reaching an agreement to address the use of deep UIC wells within an adopted Surface Water Protection Zone,” OVWSD states on its website.

School district officials say they will again offer mediation to OVWSD in hopes of reaching an agreement soon, but delays to construction are now unavoidable due to lack of water at the Madrona site. OVWSD stated on its website that it will also “continue to be available for negotiations.”

As a board member, with a responsibility to the district-at-large, I am not willing to subject the district to legal and/or financial liabilities demanded by an entity that does not have jurisdiction over groundwater,” Board President Ann McMurray said in a statement. “In repeated attempts, over months and months, to satisfy the ongoing demands of the water district, the school district has enhanced Madrona’s stormwater system, already approved by the appropriate state and city agencies, at a cost to the school district community of roughly a quarter of a million dollars.”

“Our attention now is on making the best of a very challenging situation for our Madrona families and staff,” said School District Superintendent Kris McDuffy.

Resources from the Edmonds School District about this issue can be accessed at this link. Similar resources from Olympic View Water & Sewer are available at this link.

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