YAKIMA, Wash. — Dispelling rumors that delays could push back the first day of school at the new Eisenhower High School, school and construction officials relayed an encouraging message of progress on the project Friday.
At the Yakima school board meeting Friday morning, Spokane-based Graham Construction & Management presented its latest update on the $100 million-plus project.
The panel, led by Senior Project Manager Brian Holecek, discussed how the mechanical systems will soon be running, the kitchen staff is already learning to use the new equipment and teachers will be moving in to the school on Aug. 19, among other developments. The first day of school is Aug. 27.
Holecek said it was possible both the courtyard, running north to south between the buildings, and the auditorium may not be completed before classes start. He said these two unfinished areas would not jeopardize the occupancy inspections.
For Superintendent Elaine Beraza, the update was encouraging. She had heard that some students and families were saying the school would not be ready, pushing the opening date back by at least a week. She said that rumor was not true.
“I think students would love an extra week of summer, right?” she said. “It’s just wishful thinking, though.”
Beraza said the school can survive without an auditorium for a while, but an incomplete gymnasium would have been devastating. Students are expected to report to the gymnasium that Tuesday.
“The main issues I was concerned with, they addressed,” Beraza said. “It’s a huge building. It’s not going to be perfect when it starts just like with any other project.”
The new school is part of the 20-year, $114 million bond approved by Yakima voters in 2009 to rebuild Eisenhower and Stanton Academy and renovate Davis High School.