New school taking shape
Tour reveals large classrooms to be well equipped
The new K-12 school facility in Coulee Dam is beginning to show its colors.
A walk of the place last Wednesday revealed painted classrooms, some finish work on the final red metal roof and the beginning of rock work on the outside of the elementary wing.
School patrons and taxpayers in general may be in for a pleasant experience and surprise.
The new school is huge. Many of the classrooms are large with every type of teaching technology device available.
The walk through was in concert with Superintendent Dennis Carlson and furniture manufacturer Virco's representative, Jim Trimberger.
Trimberger was here to make sure that furniture for the facility will fit the spaces designed for it. He wandered through the rooms with a stack of blueprints in his hand to check and see if the measurement of spaces matched the designs planned for furniture.
His firm is one of four expected to bid on furnishings. The district plans to advertise for bids next week.
The classrooms on the lower floor of the elementary wing are painted, and soon painters will move to the upper floor.
Last Friday a number of teachers and staff members from Center School toured the elementary wing of the new school.
Trimberger said furniture, all made in America, would arrive by trucks and with a crew of about 10 people, take about a week or 10 days to get everything assembled and placed.
That is if his firm wins the bidding process.
Each kindergarten room, and there are three of them, is roomy and has one wall painted in a brilliant color. That color is matched outside the room on a canopy above the entrance door so the youngsters can find their room more easily.
That could be a chore for the younger children because the facility and its various areas are roomy.
Roger Easling, the construction manager for the school district, was also along on the walk through and his direction led to a room that had most of the cabinets installed.
Next fall's opening is going to be an eye opener to staff and students.
The kindergarten rooms will have considerable space devoted to computers with one wall lined with shelves and tables to support technology.
The facility has 30 miles of technology wiring.
Subcontractors are busy throughout the elementary wing, and throughout the entire facility.
Easling said that the drywall contractor had 25 men on the job, and the electrical contractor had 15 men on site.
Drywall sheets, five-eighths of an inch thick, have a special paper sheet inside designed as a sound barrier to limit noise from escaping into other nearby rooms.
"All the cracks around heating and ventilation ducts above the ceilings are being caulked with a special material also designed to reduce sound," Easling stated.
The common area where students will gather to eat and to relax are huge and will be equipped with projectors adding an entertainment and information quality to the space.
Outside recreation and general people places are numerous and will provide many opportunities for students to get some exercise and gather for conversation.
The big question is, will the facility be ready for occupancy come September?
A lot of things could get in the way of that happening, but school officials and construction people give a qualified "yes."
Workers lost only a few days because of cold weather. Now spaces are closed off and large propane blowers provide warm air so the areas are comfortable to work in.
There's a lot yet to be done. However, there's enough done so that with a little imagination you can picture what the facility will look like later this year.
"I am impressed with the pride in their work that contractors and their workers are showing," Easling said. "This is going to be a beautiful building."