Clearing a way for Crestline school

Where classrooms burned in February, construction crews are preparing the site for a new building

By Susan Parrish, Columbian education reporter



Crestline Elementary School

Upcoming public events

• Open house at temporary Crestline Elementary

When: 4-5 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 28

Where: Hewlett-Packard/SEH America Building, 18110 S.E. 34th St.

• Crestline ground-breaking

When: 4-5 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 3

Where: Site of the original Crestline Elementary School, 13003 S.E. Seventh St.

Crestline timeline

• Feb. 3: Crestline Elementary School is destroyed by fire.

• Remainder of 2012-13 school year: Crestline students, staff were divided by grade level at various Evergreen district elementary schools.

• 2013-14 school year: Crestline Elementary will be housed for one year in the Hewlett-Packard/SEH America facility.

• 2014-15 school year: The new Crestline Elementary will open at the site of the original school.

The squeal of heavy equipment moving dirt at the Crestline Elementary School site on Friday morning was noisier than a pod of gleeful second-graders at recess.

Three track hoes, two dozers, two drilling machines plus one loader and one roller prepared the site for the new Crestline Elementary School being built to replace the school that was destroyed by fire on Feb. 3. The fire displaced about 500 students plus 50 staff.

Greg Scott, construction superintendent for Skanska USA Building Inc., stood watching the heavy equipment preparing the site for the new school.

"Right now, we're getting the pad ready to start

pouring footings in the next week or so," Scott said.

He explained that the crew of eight will mushroom to about 20 workers in the next couple of weeks, with the addition of an electrician, plumber and a concrete crew.

One red drilling machine at the front of the construction site was removing the casing for the old well, which is too close to where the new building will be built.

Another drilling machine at the back of the site was digging the school's new irrigation well. The existing fire water line and potable water line for the building can be used for the new building, Scott said.

"This is fun," Scott said. "This is my favorite part of the job. I get to sit back, watch and plan the building."

A time capsule was buried at the school decades ago, but so far, construction crews have been unable to locate it.

The new Crestline Elementary School will welcome students for the 2014-2015 school year. In the meantime, the approximately 500 Crestline students and 50 staff members will be housed for the 2013-2014 school year at a temporary school facility at the Hewlett-Packard/SEH America Building.

Susan Parrish: 360-735-4530;;