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Campus improvements ready for start of school

The first day of school is knocking on the district’s door and contractors are hammering away at the summer construction projects. At Olympic High School, with the exception of the swimming pool, campus improvements construction wrapped up a few days ahead of the Aug. 26 schedule.

“We are able to say with confidence we’ll open that pool (on time),” said Director of Construction, Facilities and Maintenance for the school district, Richard Best.

In his presentation in front of the Central Kitsap School District board Wednesday evening, Best explained the facility will be swim-ready by the Sept. 16 scheduled deadline after pool improvements and replacement of the roof are complete.

The roof over the school board members heads is also undergoing construction, as is the entire Jenne-Wright Administration Center.

Best said he anticipates all of that work would be finished sometime this coming week as well.

He highlighted several other projects that are on track for completion before the start of school and reported a wheelchair ramp, which the public has requested, is already in place Fairview Junior High.

Budget

Executive director of business and operations Paul McNeill spoke again to the school board members, though much more briefly than the previous meeting.

McNeill’s remarks remained upbeat despite relaying the news that the actual end-of-the-month balance for the general fund for July 2005 is about $500,000 less than planned.

"I'm extremely happy to report we're in pretty good shape," McNeill said.

Despite the gap between the projected balance for the end of July 2005 and what the actual balance is, "due to the comfort level built into the budget, we're still in pretty good shape."

The month-to-month fluctuation between the projected balance and what the district ends up with is not unusual. The general fund's projected balance for the end of the year has already been adjusted given this newest data about July. The budget year ends with the August numbers.

The pitch for Prop. 1

County and Bremerton law enforcement officers came to the school board meeting to pitch the 0.15 percent sales tax increase for law and justice system support. The proposed increase, which comes down to 3 cents per $20 purchase, will come before Kitsap County voters Sept. 20. It excludes automobile sales and leases, but all other purchases will be taxed at 8.75 percent, up from the 8.6 percent consumers see on the bottom of their receipts now.

"We've met with every school superintendent and almost all school boards," Bremerton Police Chief Robert Forbes said.

"Crime has no boundaries," he said, explaining that incidents in Bremerton, as the largest municipality in the county, affect its neighbors like Silverdale.

Sheriff Steve Boyer explained how funding from the tax increase would directly affect local schools.

Kitsap County would add a school resource officer to its ranks. Since Bremerton, Bainbridge Island and Port Orchard will each have such an officer as well, the county one would cover CKSD schools and others in general county lands.

More traffic officers on patrol will also help keep students safe, Boyer said.

The new school resource officers would help with anti-bully programs, suicide prevention programs, and will act as a direct liaison between schools and local police authorities. This could, for example, help with speedier school bus re-routing in case of an after-school traffic incident, Boyer explained.

"It takes the school district and law enforcement and PTA all working together for a safe (school) environment," he said.

Racing for safety

Brenda Boice took first place in a recent Olympic Council Regional School Bus Safety Competition. Central Kitsap School District bus drivers Jamie Rhoten and Amber Perkins took the third and fourth places, respectively.

Karrie Franklin, Grady Wring and Bessie Briggs were seventh, eight and ninth.

CKSD is now recruiting school bus drivers. Training is provided at the CK transportation department. For information, call (360) 662-8800.

Traffic delay expected

The Central Kitsap School District's all-staff meeting for the beginning of the school year will take place Monday, Aug. 29 at Olympic High School. Motorists should expect traffic delays from 7-8 a.m. and 9:30-10:15 a.m. in the vicinity of the school, especially at the Nels Nelson Road and Bucklin Hill Road intersection and at Fairgrounds Road and Stampede Boulevard.

Fairgrounds Road, between Stampede and Tracyton, will remain closed Monday morning due to Kitsap County Fair closing activities.

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