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“Fast track” would see new school work start in January


Last updated 5/2/2012 at 12:22pm

“We’re on a fast-track project,” Superintendent Dennis Carlson told a handful of people who turned out last Thursday to get an update on the Grand Coulee Dam School District’s plans for a new K-12 school complex.

The group heard architect Laurence Rose provide a best guess timeline for the $46 million project.

Look for bids to go out in January, 2013, with construction starting soon afterward, Rose told the audience, “and students occupying the new building in late August, 2014.”

However, both Rose and Carlson explained that in order for the project to get the “fast track” they need to convince the state Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction that everything is shovel ready and that planning work has already been done.

Carlson explained that if OSPI credits the district with work already done, then the district can meet its goal of going to bid early next year and occupying the new buildings in August, 2014. Otherwise, occupancy could be as late as April, 2015.

Architects Rose, Jim Coles, president of Design West, and Cameron Golightly, will all be involved in the project and they answered questions from those attending.

Questions about floor surfaces, kitchen deliveries, offices, art, and other topics were talked about.

Several town meetings will be scheduled as architects proceed with ideas picked up from school staff, a civic committee that met separately Thursday afternoon, and local citizens who turn out for evening information sessions.

Surveyors were at the site Wednesday afternoon shooting grades and developing information on what was underneath the old Wright Elementary building. Demolition of this surplused building will occur this summer while school children are on vacation.

Architects answered questions on commons spaces for students to gather and the need to keep eating areas for younger students separate from upper grades.

Classroom size of about 900 square feet was suggested and work progression will depend on how far the $31.5 million now available will go. A new gym will be built in phase two, after the classroom-academic portion of the building is complete, and as money becomes available.


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