Grant Center for the Expressive Arts Replacement

Entrance Rendering Jan 2018.jpg

​News & updates

Get ready for Grant's first day at the former Hunt Middle School

Take a look at a few key details that'll help you prepare for two firsts: 

  • The first day of the school year and 
  • The first day at Grant's temporary location, 6501 S. 10th St.
Get to know the building, meet teachers at Sept. 4 ice cream social
Wander around Grant’s temporary home at the back-to-school ice cream social, from 3:30 to 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 4. Over the summer, works crews cleaned up the building and grounds, and Grant staff worked to make it feel like home while the new school is under construction.

At the ice cream social you can also:

  • Meet Grant’s new principal, Vince Blauser, formerly an assistant principal at Tacoma’s Foss IB World School
  • Meet teachers and staff
  • Drop off school supplies
  • Register for a school bus
  • Snack on ice cream
Tell your kids . . .
The playground equipment from Grant made the trek across town and should be ready for climbing, swinging and jumping by the first day of school.
Where to catch the bus, drop off and pick up students
Take a look at Grant's bus stops and schedule; check this page often as stops and times may change. If you haven't registered your student for a bus stop yet, contact Tammy Rudolph at Grant at 253-571-5413. School buses will drop off students at the front of the building, on South 10th Street.

Parents should drop off and pick up students on South Eighth Street, where there's a long driveway and turnaround loop; look for signs directing you.

Grant staff will be stationed at the parent drop off and bus drop off to guide students into the gym, where the school day will start. 

Grant Student Drop Off 2.jpg

Planning for construction in the Grant neighborhood

In addition to its plans to build a great new school for students at Grant Center for the Expressive Arts, general contractor Korsmo Construction wants to make itself a good neighbor.

In the area around Grant, that means taking extra measures to have the least impact possible on traffic, parking and noise so neighbors’ routines can remain largely uninterrupted. Some of those measures include carefully planning routes for trucks hauling construction materials and making space on the construction site for crew parking.

Korsmo and Tacoma Public Schools recently invited Grant neighbors to learn about what construction will look like in their neighborhood.

What’s the demolition and construction schedule?
  • Abatement and demolition: June – September 2018
  • Site preparation: August – October 2018
  • Construction: September 2018 – November 2019
  • School opens: Fall/Winter 2019
How will trucks access the site?
General contractor Korsmo Construction determined that trucks hauling materials to the site will travel north on Sprague Avenue, west on Sixth Avenue, north on Alder Street, east on North 11th Street and around the existing school. An alternate route is Sprague to Division to Ainsworth.

Where will work crews park?
Korsmo dedicated space on the Grant property for about 20 vehicles, with overflow parking along North Prospect Street. During the week, construction crews will generally arrive at the site at about 6 a.m. and leave between 3 and 4 p.m.

As people join the project team, they’ll attend a staff orientation to learn about the project’s zero-tolerance policy for illegal parking. A Korsmo traffic control team member will also monitor side street parking.

How will the construction affect residential parking and driving?
Utility work and street improvement work on North Prospect and North 10th and 11th streets will likely have the most significant impact on residential parking and driving. That work will occur this summer through the spring.

The contractor plans to minimize the impact by working on one street at a time and allowing traffic to pass via an access lane. There will be times when street parking is not available. Korsmo will canvas the neighborhood and place signs outside in advance to make property owners aware of impacts to the area.

What are the street improvements?
On North 10th and 11th streets, North Prospect Street and the alley, the lanes on the school side of road will receive new pavement, as required by the City of Tacoma. The intersections at North Prospect and North 10th and 11th streets will receive asphalt restoration.

How will pedestrian safety be improved near Grant?
  • New sidewalks surrounding the school
  • ADA-accessible ramps at all intersections surrounding the school
  • Two new crosswalks at North 10th and Prospect Street and North 11 and Prospect Street.
  • Bus and student drop-off areas remain the same (North 11th and North 10th streets, respectively)
Will there be any access to the field and playground?
No. For safety’s sake – and in keeping with standard district practice at other schools – the entire site will be fenced.

What’s the parking plan once the school is complete?
On-site and off-site combined, parking slots will increase from 50 at the current school to 59 at the new school. That includes 11 on-site slots, 20 parallel slots along the curb next to the school, and 28 back-in angle parking spaces on North Prospect Street. The school district came by the 28 back-in slots by dedicating some district property to increase the width of the right of way; the space does not decrease the width of the driving space.

What are the work hours on the site, and how far will the noise travel?
Typical work hours are Monday - Friday, 7 a.m. - 5 p.m. during the work week. If weekend work is required, those hours are the same (no heavy equipment operations before 9 a.m.). Korsmo reduces noise by using muffled equipment when possible and ensures noise is below the permissible Tacoma Municipal Code sound levels, both indoor and outdoor.
During the early stages of the project (demolition and road work), sounds from the site could carry a few blocks. As the project progresses, most construction-related noise will be contained within the building and likely undetectable to neighbors.

Contact information
Questions about construction and construction practices? Contact project manager Debbie Boodell at or 253-571-3334.

Grant neighborhood presentation 5_30_18.pdf

Preparing for Grant's time at Camp Hunt in the fall

Grant students will start the 2018-19 school year at the former Hunt Middle School and remain there until the new Grant opens in the fall of 2019. 

When will teachers and parents see the Hunt campus?
The principal will arrange a time for teachers to tour the school. Parents can experience the school at a back-to-school night, shortly before the first day of school.

While students are at Hunt, will the school district continue to provide bus service to Grant students who participate in the band program at Jason Lee Middle School and the after-school program at the Al Davies branch of the Boys and Girls Club?
Yes. Grant students will have access to all of the services they use now.

Will there be bus service for Grant students who live both within and without the Grant boundary?
Yes. The Transportation Department will determine routes and stops for both students inside and outside the Grant boundary. Parents will be notified of the bus stops and times closer to the start of the 2018-19 school year.

How will children know which bus to ride?
A color coding system helps students identify their bus. Before school starts, parents will receive information about bus routes that includes the color assigned to their child’s bus. That bus will have a sign with the matching color, so students can easily see which bus to board.

Do parents and guardians have to be at the bus stop in order for the bus driver to let their children off the bus?
Parents do not have to be at the bus stop. However, we encourage all parents/guardians to have a plan in place so your child gets home safely.

If a kindergarten student is the only child getting off at the stop, then a parent or guardian must be at the stop. If no one is at the stop, the child will be taken back to the school.

What measures are in place to ensure the safety of children on the bus?
During the first week of school, each student is issued a “Z Pass” which they swipe when they board and exit the bus; it tracks the specific location at which they board and exit.

There are Global Positioning Systems (GPS) and video/audio cameras on buses. GPS means transportation department managers and dispatchers can locate a bus on a computer, determine if a bus has been to a particular bus stop, and check to make sure the route is on schedule.

Video cameras on the buses aid student safety. Cameras help monitor, for the safety of all passengers, whether student conduct on the bus is safe and follows the rules for students riding buses.

How far do children walk to get to his or her assigned bus stop?
Elementary school students typically walk four to six blocks.

Are children enrolled in special education services eligible for transportation?
Transportation for students receiving special education services is determined by the student's Individual Education Plan (IEP). Please contact Special Education Transportation Services at (253) 571-1855 between 7:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.

Can children get off at a bus stop other than their own?
A request to ride a different bus, or to be dropped at a different stop, is ONLY granted when the student gives the bus driver a written note signed by a parent or guardian plus the school administration. These notes are valid for one day only. They may not be used on a continuing basis. Notes written by students are not acceptable. 

​About the project

Project overview

Grant Center for the Expressive Arts is an arts-focused elementary school (K-5) currently serving approximately 340 students in Tacoma's North End. The current building was mostly constructed in 1955, but also includes parts built in 1920 and an addition in 1967.

Students will attend classes at the district's Hunt transition site during construction. Bus transportation will be provided.

Take a look at McGanahan's January 2018 presentation, which details what the new Grant will offer. 

Student capacity: 400
Projected budget: $29 million
Square feet: 50,401
Architect: McGranahan Architects
Design: September 2016 - March 2018  
Contractor: Korsmo Construction
Construction: June 2018 - August 2019
Expected opening: Fall 2019

The project funded by the $500 million school construction bond voters passed in 2013.

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While construction doesn't begin until summer 2018, we know many people will have questions now. Email your ideas and questions to

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