Walker Construction is low bidder for Freeman projects
$10.8 million in work includes new bus facility, expanded grade school
Chey ScottAugust 12th, 2010
Walker Construction Inc., of Spokane, is the apparent low bidder for $10.8 million in work that's part of a broader modernization effort at Freeman School District southeast of Spokane.
The work is to include two projects, one that will remodel and expand Freeman Elementary School and the other that will construct a facility for the newly formed Palouse Region Transportation Cooperative, says Dave Huotari, a principal at ALSC Architects PS, of Spokane, which designed the project.
In the elementary school project, the 33,000-square-foot school will be completely remodeled and will be expanded by 13,000 square feet, Huotari says. The new transportation facility, which will be operated by a co-op of the Freeman, Tekoa, and Rosalia school districts, will have 15,000 square feet of floor space, as well as bus canopies outside, and will be constructed on a 6-acre lot adjacent to the elementary school, he says. That facility will be used for storage and maintenance for the three districts' buses, he says.
Huotari says the elementary school expansion will include adding some space to the building and adding a second multiuse building that will include both a cafeteria and the district's administrative offices. Combined, those additions will add 13,000 square feet of space. Currently, the district's offices are located on the ground floor of Freeman Middle School, and after the expansion, that space in the middle school will be recaptured for classrooms there.
He says Freeman Elementary was constructed in the 1970s and expanded in the 1980s.
The remodeling project will update antiquated building systems, and the addition will provide space for programs that currently are housed in portable classroom buildings.
Work on both the elementary school and the transportation facility is expected to be completed by next August.
Meanwhile, a $13 million modernization and expansion of Freeman High School, which began last summer, is expected to be completed before the school year starts next month, Huotari says. That project included remodeling about 50,000 square feet of space and adding 36,000 square feet of space, as well as improvements to the district's track and field facility and its water system, he says. Levernier Construction Inc., of Spokane, is the contractor for that project.
Portable classrooms installed at the high school for use during the construction period now will be used for classroom space during construction at the elementary school, he says.
"With the final development of these three projects we will have created a full campus," he says.