July 28, 2007 in Voices

WVHS remodeling nears completion

By The Spokesman-Review
 
J. BART RAYNIAK photo

Doug Rima with Garco Construction welds part of the roof for the new gymnasium at Pasadena Park Elementary School.
(Full-size photo)

The final phase of an extensive two-year remodeling project at West Valley High School should be wrapped up on schedule and within budget before school begins Sept. 5, and work to add classrooms and gymnasiums to the district’s four elementary schools is under way.

West Valley voters approved a $35 million construction bond for these projects in 2004.

Wednesday’s school board meeting was held in the high school’s new library and media center. After the meeting, school board members, and district officials put on hard hats for a tour of the recently remodeled areas of the building.

“The overall excellence of the project is amazing,” said school board member Jim Williams. “The layout, the spaciousness, athletic facilities and high-level of technology make this a state-of-the-art building.

“Dave Smith, as the project manager, has done what no other project manager could do. Basically he’s taken this on as a labor of love,” Williams said.

Smith, who previously served as district superintendent for 16 years, knew what was important to preserve from the original high school and incorporated the old with the new, Williams said.

“We’ve got a couple areas to finish up,” Smith said. “After last summer, this is a breeze.”

West Valley High School’s opening day was postponed by two days last September because of construction delays.

The high school project is scheduled for its substantial completion date by Aug. 24 and an open house for the community is scheduled for Aug. 29.

Smith said the project is on schedule and within budget, and the interest earned on the bond will be shifted to the elementary school projects.

The district has $11 million set aside for the elementary school projects. Garco Construction’s $8.9 million bid was approved by the board of directors in April.

Footings and foundations at Pasadena Park and Seth Woodward elementary schools are complete, and the gymnasium walls are going up. Two of the four additional classrooms at Pasadena and a music room at Seth Woodward are expected to be finished by October or November, with final completion early next year.

The final projects at Orchard Center and Ness elementary schools are scheduled for completion in August 2008.

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