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School capital projects begin

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SNOQUALMIE - The Snoqualmie Valley School District is hard at work on a slew of capital projects this summer that will touch every one of the district's schools.

The site has been cleared for a new elementary school in the Snoqualmie Ridge neighborhood. The $13-million school will have room for 500 students and is scheduled to be completed by the first day of class in 2005.

Big changes can be seen as well at Mount Si High School, where the district will be building an athletic facility that includes a new football/soccer field, a new track facility and new baseball/softball diamonds. The school's gym will also be remodeled.

Demolition work began earlier this month on the existing structures at the athletic field. The football stands came down, as did the concession stand and scoreboard. Of everything at the field, only a flag memorial and a backstop will remain by the end of the month.

Inside the school, the district has completed work on a new sprinkler system that will bring the school up to code, and a new million. The sprinkler system and new classroom will be done by the first day of class this year, with the athletic field and gymnasium remodel scheduled to be done by the first day of class in 2005.

Work also is beginning at Chief Kanim Middle School, where the district will connect the main building to its athletic building with a new athletic structure. Fencing has already gone up to protect the constriction site and the district will start preliminary bidding on the $1.35-million project this week. All of the work is scheduled to be completed by the first day of school in 2005.

All of the district's schools will be connected with a $1.1-million fiber-optic network that is expected to be completed by next fall. Lines will also be laid for the new elementary and middle school.

The district finished work two weeks ago on a new $80,000 basketball court floor at Fall City Elementary School and has started its permitting process with the county to build a 600-student middle school east of North Bend. That $23.7-million school is scheduled to be open by the first day of class in 2008.

Clint Marsh, district director of construction, said the projects' locations in Snoqualmie's flood area and in the unincorporated areas of the county in Fall City and outside North Bend make building a permit-heavy process. Presently, the projects remain on schedule but Marsh said costs could go up if the district has to wait too long to start breaking ground. However the permit process plays out, Marsh said the district will work on what it can, when it can.

"We will be out there working when there is 10 feet of snow on the ground," he said.

All of the projects are being paid for with moneys provided by a $53.5-million bond approved by voters in May of 2003.

Ben Cape can be reached at (425) 888-2311 or by e-mail at ben.cape@valleyrecord.com.

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