Design board eyes school plans

Coupeville Design Review Board and the public will examine updated designs for a new Coupeville High School next week.

School officials are presenting plans to the Design Review Board during its regularly scheduled Tuesday morning meeting.

Town planner Larry Kwarsick said the meeting will be an informal discussion addressing any concerns surrounding site plans of the new high school. Topics include building layout, parking, access and sidewalks.

The Review Board will consider architectural aspects of the high school building at a later date.

Kwarsick said there are concerns about how the proposed placement of the high school affects South Main Street and Engle Road, which is a major route to the Keystone ferry dock. He added there are also concerns on how pedestrian access will look and other impacts on the surrounding area.

The DRB will look at the proposed plans for the first time Tuesday but will make a decision during later meetings in April or May when the board’s concerns are answered, Kwarsick said.

School district officials want the DRB to sign off on the site plan so preliminary site work can begin this summer.

“The goal is for us to get some work done on the field,” said Gary Goltz, construction manager for the Coupeville School District. He wants some excavation done and gravel laid down on the site to prepare it for construction scheduled to begin in February 2006.

The new high school is funded through a $22.8 million bond that voters approved in May 2004.

The public gets a chance to comment on high school plans on March 17 when a public meeting presenting designs for the new high school takes place.

Goltz said the schematics could change once the cost estimates for the high school are solidified, which should be done early next week.

School district officials have dealt with rising costs in recent months. The school board approved a 1,200 square foot reduction in the high school last December. That cut saved $870,000.

Goltz hopes architecture plans are ready to present to the Design Review Board in the late summer or early fall.

The new high school should take approximately 18 months to finish. it should be ready in time for the 2007-2008 school year.

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