The walls and everything else came tumbling down last week at the old Grant Street Elementary School in Port Townsend.Contracted company Absher Construction, of Puyallup, took the lead with the …
The walls and everything else came tumbling down last week at the old Grant Street Elementary School in Port Townsend.
Contracted company Absher Construction, of Puyallup, took the lead with the demolition process, which included the entire school, as well as old portables. The company also cleared the grounds in front of the school to prepare for landscaping. The entire operation started the week prior, with a surplus sale on June 20 and 21 followed by asbestos mitigation.
“It's moving along as planned,” said John Polm, Port Townsend School District superintendent, who added the entire construction of the new Salish Coast Elementary School will be ready for the 2018-2019 school year starting Sept. 4.
The demolition is just one of a series of hurdles for the Port Townsend School District. It all started when district voters passed a $40.9 million levy in 2016 to pay for a new elementary school. Since Polm became superintendent in July 2016, work has been ongoing with designing the building with architects and construction companies to get it started throughout the 2017-2018 school year.
“It's been integrated into some of the learning experiences for the students,” Polm said. “They've been learning about construction.”
The new 68,000-square-foot building stands on the same lot as the previous building, at the intersection of Grant Street and Discovery Road. With about 51 percent more space, the school will house about 480 total students the next school year.
Moving all equipment from the high school and other areas of the district to Salish Coast will happen once an occupancy permit is granted, estimated for the middle part of August. Afterward, teachers and staff will have access to set up offices and classrooms. A ribbon-cutting will take place Sept. 1 in the morning.
Grant Street Elementary School was built in the 1950s, seeing thousands of students come through its halls. “It's served us well and we're banking on this new building serving for a long time here in Port Townsend,” Polm said.