School project finishing ahead of schedule

New classrooms, science labs, an expanded commons, library and career center will be open by October, a couple of months faster than originally expected.

Students and staff at Enumclaw High School will occupy some brand-new space much earlier than anticipated.

The ongoing construction project that has dominated the campus has gone smoothly, according to Superintendent Mike Nelson, allowing for an accelerated move-in schedule.

New classrooms, science labs, an expanded commons, library and career center will be put into use Oct. 15. The district’s original schedule called for occupancy on Jan. 2, 2019, when everyone returned from holiday break.

“We’re pretty excited,” Nelson said, “and Forma is thrilled,” he added, referring to the project’s general contractor.

Nelson said the earlier occupancy – roughly two and a half months ahead of schedule – is the result of several factors. Among those were “a really good start” to the project and no delays due to weather, he said. Nelson also cited “amazing cooperation” from the city of Enumclaw.

The two-story addition coming to life in the middle of campus includes the school’s major classroom spaces and will get students out of portables now in use. Most will settle into their new spaces, with the exception of band and choir members. The musically-inclined students will continue making the short trek to Enumclaw Middle School until their facilities are finished.

The high school project was made possible in April 2015 when Enumclaw School District voters approved, by a thin margin, a $68 million bond request. The bond measure essentially replaced a previous bond that resulted in construction of Thunder Mountain Middle School.

The $68 million, when combined with an $18 million grant from the state, also paid for the replacement of Black Diamond Elementary. The new elementary building opened at the beginning of the current school year.