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Several schools get a makeover

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Hundreds of Valley students will walk into schools they

probably won't recognize, thanks to construction bonds voters

passed in previous years.

Snoqualmie Valley School District's Fall City and North Bend

Elementaries, and Riverview School District's Carnation

Elementary all went through major renovations that began last

spring and fall.

Last week, students and staff at Carnation Elementary walked

the halls of the new "Millennium Wing" and ooh'd and

aah'd at the transformation to the section that was originally

built in 1960.

"This is creating a lot of excitement," said

Principal Jim Jordan. "Everyone was saying things like, `Oh

my, look at this."

The $1.1 million project paid for a new roof, classroom

furniture, carpets, additions in the multipurpose room and more.

The most needed improvement, however, was the school's new roof.

"The roof was sloping in to the center and the paint on

the walls was peeling," Jordan said. "We had leaking

problems here for years."

Workers are still lingering at the school, finishing up

several minor adjustments such as installing cabinets and door

locks, and finishing the "punch list."

Crews are also working at Fall City Elementary, which will

delay the school's opening until Sept. 13.

"We're giving the contractor a chance to clean up the

site and haul away the debris, and make it a safer place for the

children," said Rosemary Ziara, the district's business

manager. "The building is going to be beautiful, like new,

and worth waiting for."

The contractor, Columbia Pacific Contractors Inc., was

supposed to have completed the project by Aug. 23 - which could

bring financial penalties to the company.

"We have in our contract `liquidated damages'...so [in

the event of] any additional cost we incur because of delays, we

could go back to the contractor and ask for reimbursement,"

Ziara said.

The district has not yet decided how it will handle the delay

with the contractors or its impact on the school calendar. Ziara

said the contractor blamed the lack of adequate numbers of

construction workers to the delay of the project.

"There's so much construction going on in the world

around us, that there's a shortage of laborers," she said.

"And from his perspective, that's been the biggest

challenge."

Teachers and staff will be allowed back into the classrooms

this week. A temporary office has been set up for Fall City

Elementary at Chief Kanim Middle School for any parents or

community members who need to meet with school officials.

The district wants to discourage anyone from visiting the new

school until its official opening next week, due to dangers of

the construction zone.

On the other side of the Valley, things at North Bend

Elementary are a lot less hectic. The teachers and staff began

moving their items into the school last week and began classes on

time.

Some of the improvements at North Bend Elementary include a

repaved parking area, new music stage in the multipurpose room,

renovations to the library to offer more natural lighting, redone

classrooms, a new roof and more. Geographically, the school's

main office was moved to the front.

There are two more schools in the Snoqualmie Valley School

District that will begin renovations during this school year.

Snoqualmie Middle School's construction will begin in November,

and Snoqualmie Elementary will start renovations in February

2000. Both projects will be finished next September.

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