Blaine High School construction progresses despite cold weather

Above: The new greenhouse at Blaine High School is nearly complete. Below: Exterior walls are going up and the new high school building is taking shape. The mechanical room above the band room, pictured here, is the tallest structure on site. Shop classes and other technical education programs will take place in the space in the foreground.

Photos and story by Oliver Lazenby

Cold weather in December and January may have slowed construction progress at Blaine High School, but the contractor, Spee West Construction, has a plan for making up time.

Spee West plans to bring in a second crew to catch up as soon as the weather cooperates, and should be back on track in two weeks, said Alan Pomeroy, school district facilities manager.

Exterior walls made of concrete masonry blocks are going up on site, which is just east of the current high school campus. The mortar for the blocks needs to be above about 40 degrees to be workable. Daytime high temperatures haven’t hit 40 degrees for much of the last six weeks, causing a slight delay.

Aside from exterior walls going up, the new greenhouse is nearly finished and aboveground work on the tennis courts has started. The tallest structure is currently the two-story concrete block walls for the mechanical room, which is on top of the band room.

The high school remodel will result in a facility that is all under one roof. The high school currently has 46 separate entrances, which district officials say makes it difficult to secure. The new building will have just three entrances.

The remodel and renovation is projected to cost $38 million. The work is part of the $45 million capital projects bond that voters approved in February 2015.

Phase one of the remodel is scheduled for completion in August 2017. That phase includes a cafeteria, a small theatre, a new greenhouse, space for construction skills classes and other technical education programs, band and choir rooms and other classroom space.

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