Construction begins on primary school addition

Construction_SG-6By Ian Ferguson

Crews have broken ground for an expansion to Blaine Primary School on October 26, kicking off a project that should be mostly complete by late April 2016.

“As my 2-year-old grandson would say, the scooper is here,” superintendent Ron Spanjer said at the Blaine school district board of directors meeting October 26, referring to excavating equipment that started digging to prepare the work site for construction.

The 11,000-square-foot addition includes eight full classrooms, a music room and roll-down doors added to an existing covered play area in a pod at the northwest end of the primary school. Everson-based Tiger Construction is the lead contractor. Although most of the construction will be wrapped up by the end of April, work will continue into August, said project manager Jim Kenoyer.

“Once school is out for the summer, we will work on the covered play area, the music room, roofing and tying the new building in with the existing building,” Kenoyer said. “As far as we can tell, everything is in order and we’re off and running.”

The addition of eight new classrooms is mainly to provide room for full-time kindergarten. The school district will offer full-time kindergarten for the 2016/2017 school year.

Funding for the $4 million addition comes from a $45 million capital improvements bond passed in February 2015. The same bond will fund a $38 million renovation of the high school, and planning for the high school project is ongoing. Kenoyer told school board members he and the architects have met with teachers to determine the educational specifications of the new classrooms and spaces.

“We’ve had some pretty major contributions from folks in terms of what they’d like in their space and where they want it to be. We’ve shuffled around student services spaces to where kids will be comfortable coming in to see councilors without being out in front of all their peers. Things like that,” Kenoyer said.

Kenoyer told the school board to expect written descriptions of the spaces along with floor plans and elevations for the high school project at the next regular school board meeting on November 23.

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