It was a busy summer at some Northshore schools

  • Written by Deborah Stone
Courtesy Photo. The new fine arts wing with a 450-seat theater at Woodinville High School. The theater will be ready by the end of the year.
Schools in the summer may seem like ghost towns without the sounds of kids on the playground, the noise of the bells and buzzers ringing throughout the day and the continuous bus and vehicle traffic around the parking lot.

Though this peaceful and quiet environment may have been the situation at many Northshore buildings these past few months, there are a number of schools where this was not the case.

Over at Woodinville High School, it’s been a hub of activity with construction crews working nonstop on the addition of a new fine arts wing.

According to Evan Ujiiye, director of capital projects for Northshore, the wing will consist of a 450-seat theater that will be ready for use by the end of the year.

Classrooms for choir, drama and band will be finished in time for the start of school.

“The total scope of this modernization at Woodinville included the new classroom wing and administrative areas, which were completed last fall,” says Ujiiye.

“All of this was part of the 2010 bond and budgeted at $72 million.”

Over at Kenmore Junior High, crews have been working on the final phase of the school’s major modernization project.

Like WHS, there is insufficient space at Kenmore’s site to build a completely new site so the construction must occur in phases to allow the school to continue to operate.

“Kenmore’s final phase includes replacing the commons, kitchen, shop, fine arts areas and general classrooms,” notes Ujiiye. “The 18 general classrooms will be available by the end of the year. The commons, kitchen, shop and fine arts areas were completed this summer. Additional site work and demolition will continue through the summer of 2013.”

Voters approved this project at a budget of $25 million.

Portables are the name of the game at Skyview, Crystal Springs and Fernwood, where several of the structures were added to help address enrollment growth.

Ujiiye explains that the portables were actually relocated to these schools from other buildings in the district.

He says, “Due to land use planning/restrictions in the areas serviced by the district, we continue to see growth in our northern corridor — and flat or declining enrollment in our eastern and southern sites where there is slow turnover and little areas for new development. Projects at Skyview, Crystal Springs and Fernwood include portable relocations from our eastern sites and facility modifications to increase the facility utilization. Expected continued growth will probably exhaust this capacity and overall capacity in this service area within the next few years.”

Other projects accomplished this summer include flooring replacement at Shelton View and Hollywood Hill, new siding on Northshore Junior High’s gym, new flooring and sidewalks at Woodmoor and boiler replacement at Moorlands and Cottage Lake.

According to Ujiiye, the past several years have been busy ones for Northshore in regard to school projects.

A number of them are linked to the 2010 bond, which allocated $22 million for the replacement of failing building systems at sites where the structural integrity of the facility is good and the layout is meeting the instructional program needs.

Ujiiye comments that the school district was fortunate to receive $10 million in energy grants last year, which increased the spending and number of projects the last two summers.

He adds, “This (supplemental funding) enables the district to extend the useful life or our facilities, keeping them safe and effective instructional areas while postponing major modernizations.”

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