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Broad View remodel nears completion

The most striking feature of the remodeled Broad View Elementary School is the new library. What was once an artifically-lit shoebox is now an open, airy room with a wall of windows soaring to the raised roof.

“A library is the heart of a school,” architect Carlos Sierra said. “It is a place to acquire knowledge and feel good about yourself.”

Sierra, a Bellevue architect, has worked on the design of all the Oak Harbor School District remodel projects, and his trademark is to try to incorporate as much natural light into school designs as possible.

The covered play area at the left front side of the school has been turned into an enclosed “galleria,” making room for offices to face the corridor but not the weather.

A winding pale green hallway leads to the principal’s new office on the southwest corner of the building, which is also flooded with light from large banks of windows.

Gary Goltz, school district construction manager, said the district was able to do extra things at Broadview, and all the elementary schools recently remodeled because it got more money than anticipated from the 1996 school bond.

The district was able to parlay the $24 million bond approved by voters into $46 million, due to better than anticipated interest rates, and more state matching funds. Part of that money was used to put commerical kitchens in every elementary school, so students could have hot lunches for the first time.

Broad View was originally budgeted at $1.2 million, but because of this extra money the district was able to put $2.7 million into the project, without costing property owners any more in taxes.

For that money improvements at Broad View include a new electrical transformer, heating system with individual room controls, re-roofing, lighting, energy-efficient windows, white boards (the modern version of chalkboards), tack boards, wiring for seven computers in every classroom, paint, and a new fire hydrant and fire lane.

All 20 classrooms in the main school have been remodeled, and two portables will remain for the time being.

Goltz said all the elementary school remodeling will be completed by the start of the next school year. They may be finished sooner than that, but it is standard practice to test all the new systems and facilities to make sure eveything is operating properly before classes start.

You can reach News-Times reporter Marcie Miller at mmiller@whidbeynewstimes.com or call 675-6611.

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