Getting ready for the new year

Published on Thu, Aug 22, 2002 by Mikael Kenoyer

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Getting ready for the new year

By Mikael Kenoyer

Today there are backhoes in the middle school, carpet piled high in the high school library, the skeleton of a new primary school pod has just begun to appear, and school starts in less than a week. Still, no one’s
worried.

Construction foreman Bob Gilden said “the middle school and high school will be ready by the time school starts.” The primary school should be completed by next June, and the renovations to the Ken Waters and new gyms will be finished by January. Work begins next summer on the elementary school. As close as the work cuts to the beginning of classes, and as far into the year as it will stretch, the project as a whole is ahead of schedule. “When the bond was passed, we thought it would take a few years,” Gilden said, “but we accelerated the schedule so we could make one big mess instead of a small mess every year.”

The bond passed in May 2001, and when its $19.8 million worth of dust settles, it will leave the district with a new face. Already finished are parking lots in Point Roberts and behind the football stands, and the list of projects still to be completed is daunting. The high school/PAC parking lot is nearly done, and lighting and landscaping should be in place by October. Four classrooms, a computer lab, and an outdoor courtyard have been added to the high school, the home ec classrooms have moved to the high school, freeing up classrooms in the middle school in addition to a total overhaul of the kitchen, cafeteria, band room, entryways, and additional classrooms.

The primary school will get a fourth pod, a new covered and soundproofed play area, and a grass-covered outdoor play area. The Ken Waters gym is undergoing modernization, and when athletic facility renovation is complete, the new gym will have locker rooms, multipurpose rooms for wrestling, weightlifting, and PE, and will be connected to Ken Waters by a new main entrance. The elementary school will get a new kitchen, cafeteria, and classroom modernization.

District-wide, improvements have begun on lighting, fire protection, temperature control, and security. A new lock and keypad system will allow classrooms to be locked from the inside, and ID cards will restrict unauthorized access. Video cameras are also being installed.

The project remains on track and on budget. While the August 28 start date looms large in the vision of the construction crews, Gilden is confident everything will be in relative order. “We’re really moving along,” he said. .
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