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Old school facilities also to get upgrade


Cracks in the tennis courts rendered two courts useless this year.

The old school will match the new one, and upgrades to existing facilities will become a reality, for $1.3 million.

With the district's three schools ready to merge into its into its new K-12 complex this fall, the Grand Coulee Dam School District board approved plans to use the district's construction contingency fund to do three projects on already existing facilities nearby.

Board members started the process of using some $1.3 million to make outside changes to the old gymnasium, re-do the tennis courts and build a stairway from where the high school education wing is now down to the vocational buildings.

The biggest of the three projects will be finishing the roof and outside of the gym and administrative areas to match roofing and siding of the new complex.

The contingency fund was created at the beginning of the $30 million project to deal with any emergencies that might come up during construction.

But the project has been so on-schedule that the board was able to free up the contingency funds for needed finish-up needs and looks.

The old gym, which will remain in service, has a such a poor roof that a volleyball game was once called for rain.

Now the old gym and administrative areas will have a matching look to the new building. A new gym, part of the overall plan, won't be built until additional funding is found, and current fund limits will not allow any interior work in the two areas.

The board also voted to completely redo the district's tennis courts, a project that could total as much as $250,000.

Superintendent Dennis Carlson said the current courts are so bad that they are barely playable, an issue that has been with the district for a number of years. Carlson said that the courts, when redone, will attract tennis players and will help the district's tennis program.

Lake Roosevelt High School tennis Coach Steve Archer was elated to hear that the tennis courts will be completely redone.

"Midway last year we decided that two of the four courts were unplayable, and we held part of our matches on the city's courts," Archer stated.

Archer had years before appeared before the school board asking that the courts be improved.

He said that many communities in the area have adult tennis clubs so those who came up through the high schools' tennis programs have the possibility to continue to play.

A third project will be a stairway from where the high school classroom area is located that will help students move down to the vocational area.

When demolition of the high school classroom wing is completed, estimated by July 1, some 8 feet of fill will be needed before the 60-foot long stairway can be built.

Carlson said that asbestos abatement in the classroom wing will begin this week and take about two weeks to finish before demolition can begin.

Carlson said the projects will come under change order agreements with Walker Construction, the prime contractor for the overall project.

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