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District breaks ground on new Jackson Park school

From left to right, school board members Mark Gaines and Eric Greene, principal Tess McCartan, Superintendent Greg Lynch, board members Bruce Richards, Jeanie Schulze and Chris Stokke break ground on the new school on Tuesday. - Photo by Wes Morrow
From left to right, school board members Mark Gaines and Eric Greene, principal Tess McCartan, Superintendent Greg Lynch, board members Bruce Richards, Jeanie Schulze and Chris Stokke break ground on the new school on Tuesday.
— image credit: Photo by Wes Morrow

The Central Kitsap School District broke ground on a new Jackson Park Elementary School Tuesday.

The district held a ceremony on the playing field of the current Jackson Park campus to celebrate the occasion and commemorate the old building.

Superintendent Greg Lynch addressed the crowd, which included the elementary school’s students, staff, parents and community members.

“Students, you’ve got a lot to look forward to,” he said.

The new Jackson Park will be a two story, 60,000 square foot building with 24 classrooms — big enough to hold 500 students, Lynch said.

Jackson Park principal Tess McCartan also briefly addressed the crowd before she, the superintendent and the five school board members simultaneously put on hard hats and dug the first bit of earth.

Administrators said the construction process could begin as soon as June 5. They anticipate the project to run throughout the coming school year and following summer.

If things go smoothly and on schedule, McCartan and her students should be able to move into the new building as soon as the beginning of the 2014-15 school year.

McCartan said her campus has been in need of repair or replacement for some time. She said she thinks constructing a new Jackson Park has been discussed since as far back as 1987.

“We have to drink bottled water because of the piping, they have done tests that things leak out so we’re not sure if things are leaking in,” she said.

The most important thing the new building will provide, according to McCartan, is just improving the well-being, health and focus on learning for the students.

In 2011, when voters passed district’s most recent capital projects levy, the Jackson Park construction was one of its top priorities.

The overall support from the levy amounted to $58 million. Nearly half of that, $27 million, was allocated for the new building.

Most of the remainder has so far gone toward safety repairs and upgrades throughout the district and toward technology updates, according to the district.

 

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