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Pearson renovation bid approved

KEYPORT — Starting this summer, the oldest school in the North Kitsap School District will get a facelift.

The school board has selected a low bid from Granquist Construction to renovate Pearson Elementary over the next two summers.

The school will receive improvements in its ventilation system, carpeting, and electrical system, which were the basic requirements of the renovation. An air-conditioning system will be added to Pearson, which has none at all, and exterior doors will be added to the classrooms.

The school will also receive all of the “alternate” projects, which were to be completed only if the bids came in low enough.

Granquist’s bid of $2,560,000 was low enough to include the alternates; in fact, it was significantly lower than the estimate done by the school district’s architects, Hawthorne Hagen, which totalled $2,804,500.

As a result, Pearson’s alternate projects will be completed.

Those projects include added equipment and table storage area for the multipurpose room, where space is so cramped right now that boxes of equipment are kept on the stage; better access to the stage, currently accessible only by a narrow set of stairs; water service on public water, instead of the well and pump that are now used; a full staff restroom in the lower building; replaced carpet and flooring throughout the building; more casework storage in the classrooms; and padding, volleyball floor sleeves, and a wall-mounted basketball backstop in the gym.

Principal Chris Willits said the staff and students are excited to have the projects begin.

“Now we can shift our focus from, ‘What is this going to look like?’ to getting ready to go,” he said. “We’re glad to be able to shift gears.”

While many of the projects were listed as alternates, Willits said that every piece of the renovation are important for students.

Space for P.E. and assemblies is reduced, he said, because the lack of storage space means that lunch tables must be lined up against the walls, and boxes of equipment are kept on one corner of the stage. The added storage area will eliminate that problem.

“It will add to the size of the gym for assemblies, and it will make P.E. safer,” Willits said.

He and the rest of the staff are also looking forward to the improved air quality they think will arrive with a new ventilation system, as well as the addition of exterior doors to the classrooms, which currently open only into the hallways.

Granquist Construction, which is based in Gig Harbor, was one of five bidders. One bidder was disqualified for not bidding on a portion of the project, and Granquist submitted the lowest bid of the remaining companies.

The work will be done in both the summer of 2002 and 2003. It was originally supposed to be done in one chunk of time, but was spread out to avoid interrupting the school year.

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