A roundup of local school improvement projects and an update on their status
Monday, July 16, 2012
The school district will be making improvements with $1.5 million in bond money this summer to several systems in elementary buildings. Early August is the targeted completion date for installing new plumbing, electrical and heating and cooling systems; some new windows and paneling; new roofs on the main elementary building and library wing and several other renovations.
A 98,000-square foot new elementary school will be built on 15 acres on the west side of North Lacey Street. Bids will likely be sought sometime this winter.
Current plans for the $16 million project call for enough classrooms to hold four sections of kindergarten through fifth grades, a music room, art room, gym, cafeteria, library and 10 preschool classrooms. Flexibility of space for accommodating the growth in student population anticipated by school officials will be a key in planning, according to superintendent Dr. Ron Anderson. The building of the new school will bring the total number of elementary buildings in the district to seven.
A $40 million bond issue approved by voters in 2010 has financed multiple projects throughout the district, with work on several finishing up before school starts Aug. 16.
The new two-story, 50,000-square-foot Franklin Elementary School will open at the start of the year, as will a 22-classroom addition at Central High School. The old Franklin, just east of the new school, was torn down in July. The $10 million project is the costliest in the bond issue.
A new 8,300-square-foot library at the junior high will also open in August, and a 1,000-seat performing arts center at the high school will be completed around Christmas.
Other bond projects completed in the past year include security upgrades, utility systems replacements and roof replacements at several buildings, additions of space at several elementary schools and kitchen renovations and construction of a breezeway in the junior high and middle school, respectively.