Ridgefield school construction set to begin in 2013

Bond will pay for new classrooms

By Ray Legendre, Columbian staff writer

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Ridgefield school construction tied to a voter-approved bond will begin in summer 2013, according to a tentative timeline released by the district.

New classrooms, gyms and play areas are among the additions planned for Ridgefield’s four schools as part of the district’s $47 million bond. District voters supported the 20-year bond measure in February with more than 64 percent of the vote. The bond needed more than 60 percent for passage.

Work on the four schools, spread across three campuses, will be done at the same time.

“The goal is to be in the buildings in the fall of 2014,” Edgerly said, emphasizing the timeline released on the district’s website is “tentative.”

Work at Union Ridge Elementary and View Ridge Middle schools, located on the same campus, will likely begin first because preliminary inspections started at that site two years ago. There could be work this summer off-site on Fifth Avenue near the schools, Edgerly addded.

Vancouver-based LSW Architects and Oregon-based Ketchum Enterprises are handling the projects’ design and construction management, respectively.

Officials from LSW Architects and Ketchum Enterprises did not return phone calls Friday.

The capital facilities construction is expected to bring between 18 to 24 new classrooms to Ridgefield’s schools, according to the district. It will add two new gyms, plus new cafeteria and support space and more space for music classes. The high school’s athletics facilities will be revamped, with a synthetic turf field for soccer and football, a resurfaced track and lighting and audio/video improvements.

The project has five phases: visioning, research, analysis, development and implementation. The district is “in the beginning stages of design work,” Edgerly said.

Just getting the project to this point has been a long time coming, the superintendent noted.

District officials spent the past few years “educating” city residents on school needs. In turn, they spent extensive time listening to residents’ concerns about the school district and the desires they had for their children’s learning experience.

“It’s very exciting,” Edgerly said of the construction timeline. “You know there’s going to be something physical and something real placed on our campuses.”

You can follow Ridgefield’s construction blog at www.ridge.k12.wa.us.

Ray Legendre: 360-735-4517; http://facebook.com/raylegend;http://twitter.com/col_smallcities;ray.legendre@columbian.com.