Renovation makes paper progress

With a little more than two months to go for work to begin on renovating Oak Harbor High School, school officials are busy making sure everything is in place before construction begins.

The city recently issued a mitigated determination of nonsignificance for the renovation project, which is something that was expected.

“It’s a normal procedure for projects of this size,” said Mitch Romero, project manager for the Oak Harbor School District. He added it’s basically a standard process that comes out of the environmental checklist the school district is required to fill out.

The school district has to add several traffic calming features and answer some concerns from the fire department to comply with the city’s determination.

Romero said the traffic calming measures will encourage motorists to obey the speed limit while driving past the high school. Permanent solar-powered radar signs, which will tell drivers their speed, and flashing speed limit signs will be installed near the high school.

In addition, the school has to alter driveways for fire engines, and add sidewalks, curbs and gutters.

Romero was pleased the city presented a minimum of issues that need to be resolved. Work on the school’s site plan began last June and he hopes to have the land use permit approved in early May.

The city is taking comments on the MDNS through March 19. It can be viewed at City Hall.

The $74 million high school renovation bond is funded by a $54 million voter-approved bond and another $20 million from state matching money.

Construction on the first part of the project is scheduled to begin in the middle of May.

The Oak Harbor School District is currently soliciting bids for the school’s new career and technical education building, which is estimated to cost $8.6 million.

School officials will open the bids for the building on April 10 and the school board will make a decision on approving a bid during its April 14 board meeting.

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