Fairview: Out of shape or style?

Richard Best, director for maintenance, facilities and construction for the CK School District conducted a media tour of 32-year-old Fairview Junior High on Tuesday, Aug. 26. - Photo by Jesse Beals
Richard Best, director for maintenance, facilities and construction for the CK School District conducted a media tour of 32-year-old Fairview Junior High on Tuesday, Aug. 26.
— image credit: Photo by Jesse Beals

(Editor’s note: This is the fourth in a series of articles examining the proposed replacement of four Central Kitsap schools. The district is asking voters to approve a $60 million construction bond Sept. 16 to aid with the costs. State, federal and local funds would be used to replace CK Junior High, Seabeck Elementary, Fairview Junior High and Jackson Park Elementary.)

When it comes to Fairview Junior High, its challenges have more to do with function than form.

The school, built in 1971 and added to in 1975, is the youngest of the buildings slated for replacement in the CK School District proposed bond and in the best shape structurally.

“Initially I thought we would be modernizing,” said Richard Best, director for maintenance, facilities and construction for the district.

But the estimated $27 million price tag to modernize was a few million less than the estimated cost to build a new CK Junior High School.

District officials decided the current Fairview had more than $3 million in uses and value and building a new school on a different site made the most sense. If the bond passes, the current building would be renovated for $10 million using federal funds, not bond money.

The district is already in negotiations with property owners concerning a parcel of land near Olympic High School. If the new $32.5 million Fairview is approved and built, the old one would house the district’s junior high and alternative school students and the CKSD administration.

The district is considering selling the Jenne Wright building, but that would be decided with much community discussion, Best said.

On a recent tour of Fairview, which serves about 920 students in grades 7-9, Best pointed out the school’s design problems.

They begin in the parking lot where 16 buses in two rows of eight have to drop students in front of the school. Car traffic is forced to use the fire lane and becomes jammed up as buses block them in, Best said.

“There’s lots of chaos with the entry here,” he said.

The tour headed to the science portion of the school located near the front entry. Classes are clustered in groups of four, two being accessible from the outside. The back two are reached through an interior hallway. But flexible walls between the classrooms have created makeshift pathways for students. Typically one panel of the wall is left open for students to go through when the weather outside is rainy, Best said. But that disrupts class.

The interior classrooms have no windows and the exterior ones have one small window so students see little if any daylight.

Former CKSD superintendent Eugene Hertzke said the school’s design with its foldable walls offered teachers flexibility. Teachers could have one large classroom to team teach, then separate the classes.

As for the lack of windows, he said it was most likely a sign of the energy conscious times. Hertzke’s term as CKSD superintendent began in 1978.

Fairview’s Classroom 3, where English is taught, has too few electrical outlets to support computers. In an adjacent science room, there are three rows of work tables, one of which can be used for lab work. Students typically switch out and while other students are doing the lab, the others do book work.

The school offers Life Science, Physical Science and Earth Science instruction. Life Science is a yearlong course while the other sciences are a semester each. The district is looking at offering science year round for all grades.

The science area also has a shared lab, but the “space doesn’t function real well,” Best said.

Another room used for science classes looks identical to the classroom used for English.

“It makes it really difficult to do labs,” said science teacher Ken Henrichsen.

Junior High students do about 1-2 labs a week.

The tour then moved to the gym where the original polyurethane floor has been repaired in several spots as evidenced by the different colors. Best said the sports and gym showers and locker room are in good shape as is the choir and band room. They need to be updated and made larger.

The cafeteria, which serves about 330 students at each of three lunches, is not big enough to handle the student population.

Other improvements needed:

l The roof, gutters, downspouts, and cedar shingling are deteriorating

l Single-pane windows need replacing.

l The carpet, ceramic tile, paint, building case work, ceiling tiles, blinds and gym floor need upgrading.

l Plumbing, heating and ventilation, electrical, data, and fire-alarm systems need upgrades.

If the bond passes, the new Fairview would be designed this fall and construction would begin April 2005. The school would open its doors Aug. 2006.

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