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Builder reports on school progress


Timing is the key to progress on any building site, Rotarians learned at their meeting last Wednesday.

Speaking was Jim Crowley, Walker Construction superintendent on the K-12 school project in Coulee Dam.

Crowley explained the importance of getting materials delivered on time and how it relates to subcontractors and their efficiency.

The construction of the Grand Coulee Dam School District’s K-12 building project is back on schedule after a delay that occurred several months ago when the original survey was off. Contractors added a series of 10-hour Fridays to their schedule in an effort to get the project back on its time track. Workers had been putting in four 10-hour days. Contractors have been absorbing the overtime costs.

When asked if the new school will be ready by September, 2014, Crowley didn’t give a clear answer, but that is what school officials are anxious about.

A project ready by September next year would allow students to start the new school year in the new facility so they wouldn’t have to move part way into the year.

Crowley explained the project’s definitive retaining wall and how it has broadened the building site, allowing for product storage areas.

The building’s steel beams come from Montana, Crowley stated, from a firm that his company has dealt with before. Their deliveries are always ahead of the need so it doesn’t hold up progress on the building, he explained.

Crowley’s presentation, a slide show from the original shovel ground breaking to the near present, was put on by Roger Easling, who oversees the project for the school district, with Crowley making comments.

Workers for the site are hired through the TERO offices of the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation. Tribal hires account for 71 percent of non-skilled worker hours, Crowley said.

Superintendent Dennis Carlson had stated earlier that the question of when school would open next year probably won’t be answered until sometime next summer.

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