School’s out, but school work continues according to schedule

Workers match the brick and roofing tiles of the new choir addition at the high school to the existing structure. The new choir room is one of several projects that should be finished in time for the start of school this fall. - Photo by James Mange
Workers match the brick and roofing tiles of the new choir addition at the high school to the existing structure. The new choir room is one of several projects that should be finished in time for the start of school this fall.
— image credit: Photo by James Mange

With school out, the pace is picking up for the additions and improvements at Bremerton High School and Mountain View Middle School. Both sites have free-standing additions and add-ons to the existing structures going up, and it’s at the later where work has especially increased.

“Overall, the staff and the schools have been very accommodating in letting the contractors get a head start,” said Sharon Griffin, the school’s Facilities Supervisor and Capital Project Director and liaison with the Heery group in charge of overseeing the projects.

At the high school, administrators allowed Hilgir Construction Company to reconfigure administrative office space adjoining the work on the new student commons addition, and to remove part of an exterior wall where the walkway from the new science wing will connect to the main building. At Mountain View, an exterior wall was opened to connect to the addition being made to the existing locker rooms.

Work started Monday at both schools to upgrade the library facilities.

“We really wreaked havoc in the library,” said Charles Demming, site supervisor at the high school. “It’s kind of fun to get back at the librarians,” he said, referring to the noise. Along with storage and support space being opened up for general use, 64 data outlets are being installed in the floor.

Overall, work is proceeding very close to perfectly on schedule. “From an assembly standpoint, everything is going very well,” said Martin Newhard, site manager at Mountain View. “It’s just been a matter of getting certain materials.”

One of the problem materials to obtain won’t hold up the opening of the new science center at the high school. The new labs and classrooms will be ready by September, but will start with temporary glass in the windows. Eventually, the windows will be replaced with the same models in the rest of the school, with built-in shades and the ability to clean the outside of the windows from the inside.

Care is being given to blend the outside facades of all the additions with the existing structures, especially the high school choir addition which will be married to the building with an exact color match in the bricks and roofing tiles.

The free standing high school physical education addition is proceeding ahead of schedule. The ceiling has been painted and sheet rock has started going up on the walls. Whether students like it or not, they’ll be bench pressing and doing curls in the open, well lit new space when school reopens.

At both schools, the Heery group is very pleased with the partnership they’ve developed with the local contractors and the school district. “We’re working with two of the best contractors in the universe,” Griffin said.

“(Hilgir Construction) is the best contractor I’ve ever worked with,” Demming said, in regard to the work being done at the high school.

Newhard feels the same about Jones-Roberts, at the middle school. “We say, ‘You can build a team, or build a case,’” Newhard said. “We’re building a team. Jones-Roberts is a marvelous partner. They’re a can-do contractor.”

The main work at Mountain View isn’t slated to be done until November, but then 35,000 square feet will be available, offering 14 new classrooms, a music room, a multi-purpose room, office space and the ability to adapt to future changes. The entire building is designed for an easy conversion to an elementary school should that suit the districts’ needs down the line. Should that happen, the wall between the multi-purpose room and the music room would be opened up to create a stage, a separate gymnasium would be added along with more office space, and the original office space would be transformed into a kindergarten classroom complete with a fenced play area.

Area two at Mountain View is the expanded locker rooms, an exercise area above, where there is currently a storage area, and two stairwells and an elevator granting access to the second floor. The exercise room will be available in the middle of the semester, but the other areas will be ready for the first day of classes.

The middle school is also undergoing it’s own library upgrade, greatly expanding the computer lab area, and additional work is being done to reconfigure the teachers lounge and the counseling offices.

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