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End in sight?

District's patience wearing thin on $30 million-plus high school upgrade

Nearly a week ago, Sunnyside School District administrators learned the district had qualified for an additional $5 million in capital construction funds, which has already been designated to add 13 new classrooms and a multipurpose room at Sunnyside High School. But the question on some people's minds is why hasn't the three-year-old $30 million-plus high school modernization and renovation been completed? District officials say they are trying to be patient, as the contractor slowly but surely checks off the remaining items on the construction punch list. But it has been a frustratingly slow process. The high school modernization had originally been projected to be completed in September 2012, but a list of incomplete projects continues to stall efforts to officially list the expensive upgrade as wrapped up. "We still have a long list of items we need to check off before we can call the project complete," said Jeff Loe, Sunnyside School District district's director of finance and operations. "We just keep plugging along believing the contractor will knock out the last few details," he said. Among the remaining items to be completed are such things as assorted faulty electrical situations and improper access to control doors, all things the district expected to be completed several months ago. In the meantime, the district is moving ahead to call for bids for the new $5 million addition to be located at the east end of the two-story building on the Sunnyside High School campus. "We have already called for bids and have had pre-bid meetings with some of the prospective contractors," said Loe. The district administrators expect to open bids on Aug. 15, he added. Loe said as soon as the new contractor is selected, the company may begin to mobilize within two weeks. "It would be nice if the current contractor was done before the new contractor walks on site," he said.


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