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School schematic passes, but not without dissent

POULSBO — A 3-2 school board vote will continue the development of a new high school in Kingston, but with newfound uneasiness.

Though Catherine Ahl, Bethany McDonald and Dan Delaney voted yes to move forward on a schematic design to continue development of the new high school in Kingston, board members Dick Endresen and Ed Strickland rejected the plan at the board’s Jan. 22 meeting.

Endresen, an already established foe to the West Kingston site, voted against the plan, noting that the site is one which the “district will pour money down the drain on for years.”

Strickland cited insufficient athletic areas on the site and the use of propane, rather than other sources of energy, as his rationale for voting against the Bassetti Architect plan for the new school.

“We are not building a full comprehensive high school,” Strickland said. “The community asked for a school with adequate athletic facilities.”

Strickland also said he questioned the placement of the gym on the property, insisting that it could be moved closer to the planned main track and field site, on the northeast portion of the property. He also voiced reservations with the track and field site altogether, stating it was too small and would not accommodate high school programs, unless artificial turf was sought. Turf, he argued, would allow year-round use of the field even during the rainy Northwest winter.

Delaney voted for the schematic to continue but agreed with Strickland that the track and field space might not be adequate. However, Delaney said he felt the district should look into keeping the current wooded area intact and establishing a “demonstration forest.”

“If that field is not going to be usable, why should we cut it down?” Delaney questioned.

Approval of the site schematic will allow Bassetti Architects to continue into the next phase of work — the development design. Ground is still expected to be broken in August 2004 for the new high school. The secondary school opening is slated for September 2006.

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