Sequim Schools prepares for renovations

The Sequim School District is in the beginning stages of drafting a plan for school construction following the passing of the Capital Projects Levy.

At the school board meeting on June 19, Bernie O’Donnell, Northwest Area development manager of Vanir Construction Management, Inc., presented a tentative plan for the renovation of the district kitchen and Olympic Peninsula Academy (OPA) spaces and the demolishing of the Sequim Community School.

Vanir is a full-service program, project and construction management company whose core business is K-12 school facility programs.

The company has 20 locations across the country including Port Angeles, Bellevue and Quincy.

O’Donnell said the project would be organized into two different scopes of work: one to renovate the district kitchen and OPA spaces and the other to demolish the 1949 portion of the Sequim Community School.

The presentation included a tentative timeline for when the phasing of the projects would be complete.

From June-July, the company will determine the planning, designing and permitting of the project.

Then from July-October the project will move forward with renovating and repurposing the district kitchen and OPA spaces.

O’Donnell said the project’s contracting method is to “minimize impact and get (the kitchen) up and running as soon as possible.”

The plan for this phase includes using existing state contract services and local subcontractors to provide energy upgrades to these facilities such as HVAC/plumbing, lighting and electric, fire protection, civil/utilities and additional finishes.

O’Donnell said the kitchen and OPA spaces tentatively will be done in late October and the district most likely will operate out of the elementary school kitchens in the meantime.

The second scope of the project will focus on a “salvage and deconstruction of the community school” from July-November.

This phase will include small works contracts to make sure the Sequim Community School is safe first, then bidding out to contractors for the demolition of the 1949 portion of the building.

O’Donnell said most likely the renovations and construction will be done during business hours when contractors operate.

“We never cross construction traffic with students,” O’Donnell assured.

He said the demolition work would be isolated with physical barriers and fencing to keep the construction zone separate from students and the public.

“If for some reason there’s major demolition, and we take down something risky, we’ll do it during an independent time frame where safety isn’t at risk,” O’Donnell said.

The project is to close out by December, according to the company’s tentative plan, but O’Donnell said there may be unknowns during the demolition process that may take longer for the project to be complete.

“The intent is to be out and completely remove the old building by the end of the year,” O’Donell said.

He said Vanir wants to “provide a positive partnership” with the district and Sequim community and if it’s earned the trust of both, he hopes to establish a partnership for the future.

More school news

At the school board meeting on June 5, school board directors approved vice president Heather Short as board president and director Brian Kuh as board vice president.

Board members approved the adoption of Springboard as the district’s 6-8 English Language Arts core curriculum and Engage as the district’s 9-12 English Language Arts core curriculum at the June 19 board meeting.

For more information about the school board meetings, visit https://www.sequim.k12.wa.us/domain/7.

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