Schools reopen as repairs continue

Mount Si students Tabby Rollins and Heidi DeHart clean up flood debris at the high school entrance on Friday morning. They were among about 100 volunteer who helped get Mount Si High School back in shape. - Seth Truscott / Snoqualmie Valley Record
Mount Si students Tabby Rollins and Heidi DeHart clean up flood debris at the high school entrance on Friday morning. They were among about 100 volunteer who helped get Mount Si High School back in shape.
— image credit: Seth Truscott / Snoqualmie Valley Record

Snoqualmie Valley schools reopened one hour late on Monday following three days of flood-related closures last week.

The district re-routed buses to cope with closures at Middle Fork Road, 415th Way Southeast and East Ribary Way, and State Highway 202. In the Uplands, extra routes were added to keep routes running on schedule.

More than 200 volunteers showed up to clean Mount Si High and Snoqualmie Elementary over the weekend, and crews worked around the clock to fix flood-damaged buildings around the district.

“It was just amazing to see the community spirit, and the outpouring of support was fantastic,” district spokeswoman Carolyn Malcolm said.

Mount Si High School took the hardest hit from the floods. Construction efforts are underway at the high school to remove, dry out, and replace affected floors and walls in several low areas in the building. Between one and two inches of water entered the kitchen, the auditorium, the band room, some hallways, a storage room, the DECA room and a part of the commons. Those areas will be blocked off to student access during the school day, and some construction will take place within sealed-off areas. Construction will continue from after school to 5 a.m. each day until the building is restored.

Because the high school kitchen and Wildcat Café areas were damaged from floodwater, the high school’s food service will be limited. The district asked that students bring lunch from home until repairs are finalized. Sack lunches will be available on a limited basis.

The district has also ordered parts to repair its communications emergency generator, which is housed at Mount Si High School. The district’s Web site crashed intermittently last week during the floods. Malcolm said that plans to relocate the generator were a part of the three bond measures that Valley voters rejected over the last two years, and are included in the bond proposal that will go before voters on March 10.

About four inches of water entered the main floor of the district office building in downtown Snoqualmie. Replacing affected walls and floors in the office may take several months because fixing school buildings takes priority, but office hours will continue as usual from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Snoqualmie Middle School and Snoqualmie Elementary School were surrounded by water, but none entered the buildings, Malcolm said. A sewage lift pump at the middle school was repaired over the weekend, and students were temporarily barred from using the playground at Snoqualmie Elementary as the district replaced wood chips.

Valley students have missed eight days of school for the academic year due to bad weather and floods.

Before the most recent flood event, the last day of school was set for June 24.

Malcolm said the district hasn’t yet decided how the three days missed last week will affect the last day of school.

Typically, the state requires districts to have school in session for 180 days each year, and offer a minimum number of instruction hours.

However, when students missed nine days because of bad weather two years ago, the state offered districts some flexibility, allowing them to extend instruction hours on Friday afternoons in lieu of adding some extra days.

“Given how widespread the weather has been, we’re waiting to see what the state will do,” Malcolm said.

The weather also forced the district to postpone a budget work session and regular school board meeting scheduled for Thursday, Jan. 8. Malcolm said the school board would extend its Thursday, Jan. 22 meeting to cover topics slated for the canceled meeting. The Jan. 22 work session is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. at the district office, and will be followed by a regular meeting at 7:30 p.m.

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