PJH renovation gets a big boost from a low bid

POULSBO — A competitive bidding market by contractors gave the North Kitsap School District a lower-than-expected price tag for Poulsbo Junior High School’s planned renovation, one that will provide the aging school extra dollars for a few more unanticipated upgrades.

Hilger Construction, the primary contractor on the school district’s recently completed $4.8 million renovation of Suquamish Elementary School, will likely be awarded a $5.2 million contract to complete the PJH modernization. The school board approved selection of the Tacoma-based company April 28 by a 5-0 vote and formal paperwork from the state is expected to be completed in a few weeks.

Hilger’s bid came in at about $4.9 million, allowing the school district to take on about $300,000 worth of additional work. The cornerstone of the additional money will fund a $144,000 siding project for “Building 2,” which houses the majority of the junior high school’s athletic facilities.

“I’m thrilled we can do Building 2,” said the district’s director of capital programs, Robin Shoemaker. “It will give the whole Poulsbo Junior High School campus a new and more uniform appearance.”

The remodel will provide the primary 58,000-square-foot “Building 1” with seismic, fire safety, plumbing and electrical upgrades, new exterior siding, a new elevator and a re-design of the school’s entrance and administration area. Building 2 will only receive new siding.

Portable classrooms will be utilized to provide additional space during the various renovation phases.

Phase one will take place this summer, renovating the lower level science labs, library and adjacent classrooms. Phase two and three, to take place during the school year, will modernize the northeast and northwest classrooms. Phase four, slated for summer of 2006, will renovate the lower arts and technology classrooms, administration area and add a new canopy and entrance to the school.

One of the features Shoemaker said she’s most excited about is adding the new entrance, as the school currently doesn’t have much in the way of calling attention to it’s building front.

“The school doesn’t have a defined place of entry,” Shoemaker said. “Now it will.”

The modernization is also part of a larger plan to create three grade level Small Learning Communities, which will integrate classroom space together to encourage heightened student-teacher collaboration. The building is slated to become a sixth through eighth grade middle school in September 2007 when the new high school in Kingston is expected to be completed.

Approximately $4.4 million for the overall project, including engineering, will come from the 2001 voter-approved bond while another $3.1 million will come from the state’s matching fund. The renovation will be complete in time for the 2006-07 school year.

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