High School demolition begins

A building that provided memories for students past and present will soon be a pile of rubble.

Demolition of the old Coupeville High School began Tuesday morning. The building is now surrounded by a fence to allow workers to safely tear down the 64-year-old school.

Workers were busy Tuesday morning using a backhoe to rub the bricks off the two-story building, while another worker sprayed the rubble with water.

Fortunately, alumni and residents had chances to say farewell to their high school in the months leading up to demolition. A farewell celebration took place in early May. The event included a tour of the school in which each classroom highlighted a different decade of student life at Coupeville High School. Then, the day after the Class of 2007 graduated, alumni could take one last tour of their school.

While the building will be gone, parts of it will remain.

Some of the building bricks will comprise the courtyard that replaces the old high school. Gary Goltz, construction manager for the Coupeville School District, said there are approximately 8,000 bricks set aside for the courtyard.

School officials set aside 200 bricks for a fund-raiser by the Booster Club. Currently 103 bricks have been sold and engraved with names. Those bricks will be placed in the courtyard’s walkway.

In addition, a round window next to the old gym entrance was yanked and installed in the commons area of the new school.

Goltz said it will take between one and two weeks to demolish the building.

“Demolition is always a bit hard to predict,” Goltz said during the Monday evening school board meeting. One possible hiccup could lie with a large storage tank buried underneath the high school. Goltz said the tank used to store bunker oil for boilers. Workers won’t know if any of the oil spilled into the soil until they pull the tank out.

The new high school building is coming along. Goltz said construction of the vocational / technical facility is a little behind, but workers should catch up. It has to be ready in time for the first day of school.

He said the deadline for the courtyard installation and auxiliary gym construction is a little tight. Goltz said officials are working on the assumption that both will be ready in time for the first day of school.

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