Wash. school superintendent gets $4K shower next to office

VANCOUVER, Wash. - The Vancouver Public Schools superintendent has a new amenity next to his office - a private shower.

The shower was installed in the district's administration building this past summer and now the $4,000 price tag is raising some eyebrows.

The 3x3 feet prefabricated shower was added to an existing restroom. The project was done along with other upgrades that did not require school board approval, according to a statement from a district spokesperson.

The spokeswoman sent KATU an email that said, "If a construction contract is less than $100,000, the district obtains quotes for the job but board review is not required. The smaller projects are approved by district administration."

Seeing as school budgets are a hot topic among parents, we wanted to ask Superintendent Steve Webb about his justification for the $4,000 expense; however, a district spokesperson said Webb was not available.

Nobody at the district would answer our questions. A spokesperson only provided a short statement outlining the cost of the shower and mentioning other building improvements made over the summer. | Read the full statement

We also called several school board members but have not yet heard back.

Webb did email an explanation for the shower to our news partners at The Columbian. He said he uses the shower to freshen up after long days at work when he has to also attend an evening event.

"For me, the installation of a small shower in the restroom adjacent to my office is about increased productivity time. The job of the superintendent often extends well beyond the regular business day," Webb told The Columbian.

He told the newspaper that the shower was paid for from the district's general fund and facilities budget.

Parent Shana Foote has two boys who are seniors at Fort Vancouver High School. She said she doesn't buy that the shower is worth it, even if it does help Webb's productivity.

"It just seems like an unnecessary way to spend money," Foote said.

Webb has been superintendent since 2008, according to his online bio. He first joined the district two years prior as a deputy superintendent.

The bio describes him as a "hands-on" leader who visits each school and periodically works various jobs in the district.