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Valley Schools Hustle To Get Ready

Construction crews are wrapping up additions and renovations at several East Valley schools. Fourteen new classrooms are expected to be ready for the start of school Wednesday, although work in other areas may not be complete.

Certainly, principals at those schools have added extra gray hair, wondering if their schools would be ready on time.

And at two Central Valley schools, principals are troubleshooting problems as fast as they find them, making room for extra students during the year-long renovation of Bowdish Junior High.

“We’re probably knee deep in sheet-rock dust, but other than that we’re fine,” said East Farms Elementary School principal Mike Uphus. East Farms has gained four new classrooms, and is getting remodeled locker rooms and offices.

East Farms will open next week with a portion of its playground still roped off, waiting for new sod. The school’s resource room and computer room are also a few days from completion, Uphus said at midweek.

At East Valley Middle School, construction work includes two new classrooms, plus a 1,000-square foot addition to the school library.

East Valley principal Ken Woolf pointed out one disadvantage of having the main office renovation under way late in the summer: Computers that are usually busy putting out student schedules have been down.

“So we may be a little shakey in getting schedules out to students, which is not where we want to be. But it should all work out,” Woolf said.

The addition of eight new classrooms at Skyview Elementary is close to completion. How close? “I think the teachers are saying ‘Yikes,’ but I’m confident the classrooms are going to be finished by next week,” said principal Harold Weakland.

The offices are a different story, he said. Work on the offices should take about another week, he estimated. “I’m just happy this is getting all done,” Weakland said.

At Trent Elementary, principal Shelley Harding will have teachers and students at two separate buildings, Trent and Skyview. The empty portion of Trent is undergoing renovation this fall. Work on the other half will get under way in the spring.

In Central Valley, the most interesting before-school challenges are at North Pines Junior High School. North Pines is hosting Bowdish Junior High’s seventh- and eighth-graders, while 40-year-old Bowdish empties out to undergo a year-long renovation.

“I’ve been here since July 16 trying to make sure that we think of all the things that could go wrong,” said North Pines principal Dave Bouge.

Bouge and Bowdish associate principal Bob Johnson are ironing out innumerable wrinkles in the scheduling, as they work to keep Bowdish students and teachers together, and North Pines students and teachers together.

At University High School, where Bowdish ninth graders will spend the year, two new portables are in place, each housing two new classrooms.

, DataTimes

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