Sequim School District’s new kitchen set to open January

As a new year is just around the corner, Sequim School District is set to start off the new year with a brand new, modern central kitchen facility.

At the Dec. 17 school board meeting, Craig Fulton, project director at Vanir Construction Management, Inc., said the kitchen should be ready by the end of January of 2019.

The kitchen’s roof is placed, the outside of the building is sealed in and more kitchen equipment is arriving at the site each week, he said.

“We hope that things continue going the way they are now,” said Gary Neal, Sequim Schools superintendent.

The facility is designed to be a 4,080-square-foot commercial kitchen with new and modern equipment, a new freezer and cooler space configuration.

Fulton said the demolition of the 1949 portions of the Sequim Community School is complete — as piles of dirt and rubble can be seen along West Fir Street and North Second Avenue — and the site will be leveled and ready for a future building.

He acknowledged there were some unexpected challenges along the way: underground utility tunnels and concrete were found underneath the old school that needed to be demolished, and a backlog for wood trusses are needed for the roof.

However, Fulton said, Vanir is pushing to have the kitchen complete by January.

Steve McIntire, the school district’s former finance and operations manager, reported to the board the project so far is within budget. The project cost was originally budgeted at about $5,366,807 — after the district’s second non-voted issue was complete — and the actual total cost and estimated costs to finish are projected at $5,346,484.

The remaining funds for future commitments and project completion are about $20,322.

The installment of a fire suppression system for Olympic Peninsula Academy’s (OPA) six portables is ongoing, Fulton said; the system has been designed and sent to the City of Sequim for permitting, which Fulton said he anticipates will be complete by January.

School board director Robin Henrikson asked Fulton if a bathroom system was planned to be implemented for OPA, but Fulton said there are no plans for it and it is up to the district if it wants to do so.

Board reorganization

The board had its annual office of oath swearing in ceremony with judge Erik Rohrer, though nothing changed as far as the board members’ roles.

President Brian Kuh was nominated by director Jim Stoffer for president followed by a unanimous vote to keep his title, and the same sentiment was felt for vice president Heather Short with a unanimous vote to keep her title, too.

Stoffer remains the board’s legislative representative, director Brandino Gibson continues to be the WIAA representative and director Henrikson also remains the student board representative liaison.

The board approved at second reading updated policies regarding board member residencies, resignation and vacancies, and at first reading updated policies for board officers, duties of board members and the school director legislative program.

The next school board meeting is set for 6 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 7, at the district boardroom, 503 N. Sequim Ave.

A public bond and levy workshop is set for 5-7 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 14, with the place for the meeting to be determined, Neal said.

Reach Erin Hawkins at ehawkins@sequimgazette.com.

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