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Tracyton Elementary on track for teardown | Central Kitsap School District

Action is starting in the pre-demolition cleanup of Tracyton Elementary school in East Bremerton. The school, in Central Kitsap School District, has been in a transitional phase since its closure in 2007.

Two employees have been hired by the district to clean and clear out the old Tracyton building. Vandalism and roof problems have caused a number of issues that need to be resolved before the plan can move forward.

Water has leaked into classrooms through the damaged roof, which in turn has disrupted the building's air quality. Because it is easily accessible from the ground, Tracyton's roof has been further damaged by trespassers.

The building's roof is a liability for the school district not only because of the problems for employees working inside, but also because of the hazard posed to trespassers the district has had trouble keeping off the roof.

The district spent some $25,000 to remove covered walkways and awnings in order to make it harder to illegally access the roof.

David McVicker, the district's business and operations director, said they expect the cleaning process to be finished by Spring Break this March.

The next step for Tracyton will be the refurbishment of the annex. The southern portion of Tracyton will eventually be demolished, while the annex will be used as storage.

On top of cosmetic damage done to the building's roof, support beams have been hurt. The goal of the refurbishment will be to make the annex roof safe for its eventual use as storage. The district estimates the cost of refurbishment at $300,000.

Up to this point, the district has been using an old military munitions building on Jackson Park Elementary School's campus for its storage. When storage is transferred to Tracyton, however, that building will be demolished.

Finally, once the annex has been refurbished and storage has been transferred, the main Tracyton building will be demolished. The demolition's cost is estimated at $750,000, but it will eliminate a large amount of liability.

A community field will be put in where the main building now stands along with the former school's baseball diamond.

The State Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction keeps an inventory of districts' square footage. By demolishing the unneeded space at Tracyton, the district will free up space for additional funding from Public Instruction for capital projects like the new Jackson Park Elementary School.

Despite all the costs of cleanup, refurbishment and demolition, the district said it has been saving $800,000 annually since closing the school five years ago.

A survey, done in 2005 before the school's closure, showed that both Tracyton and Seabeck Elementary Schools needed at least $6 million in repairs. Now, seven years later, that figure would likely be much higher.

According to the district, figures showed enrollment in the two regions was either static or dropping, so it dispersed students from both areas to surrounding elementary schools.

McVicker said they still have no plans for Seabeck Elementary, which closed at the same time as Tracyton in 2007, at the moment.

The district put up notice that the space was available for lease, but it hasn't had any takers. McVicker said one group was interested in using the property, but was unable to in the end.

The school board has approved the full plan for refurbishment and demolition. It is in the process of accepting and reviewing bids for the demolition this summer.

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