“Wows” spilled from students’ mouths as they entered John D. “Bud” Hawk Elementary at Jackson Park for the first time in September.
“The excitement was pervasive,” said Principal Tess McCartan.
New students likened it to a lodge, admiring the natural beauty. Returning students expressed excitement over new playground structures and now having a separate cafeteria and gym.
“The kids were so proud and honored that they were given this gift,” McCartan said.
Central Kitsap voters made the gift of a new school possible by approving a $58 million capital projects levy.
The levy is funding not only Hawk Elementary, but also projects to improve efficiency and the life of buildings districtwide.
“The project has been very successful,” said Director of Capital Projects Robin Shoemaker. “We’re within budget.”
Additionally, the project has met goals for the look and feel of the building. Visitors have noted the school has a warm, Pacific Northwest lodge-like appearance. Materials used to construct the building ensure efficient maintenance. Design elements such as shared learning areas ensure flexibility for future needs.
Work at the school will wrap up in the coming year.
As with the construction of Hawk Elementary, the levy projects planned into 2017 help the district make the best use of its resources.
Since voters approved the levy in 2011, Central Kitsap School District has completed a variety of safety repairs and technology updates, and results are already apparent.
Seismic upgrades fortify schools against a potential earthquake. Heating and cooling system upgrades improve energy efficiency. Students now have better access to digital resources with technology infrastructure upgrades.
In the past year, workers improved the playfield at Brownsville Elementary and replaced the roof at Emerald Heights Elementary. They installed a new scoreboard at Silverdale Stadium and improved heating system controls at Clear Creek Elementary.
And more projects are underway.
Bids will go out in the next year for the renovation of Silverdale Elementary and other work at Cougar Valley and Green Mountain elementary schools, Ridgetop Junior High and Klahowya Secondary School.
The district will build a new facility on Dickey Road to consolidate food, transportation and warehouse services.
The district will use grant opportunities to optimize energy use in heating and cooling systems. Additional repairs will improve building exteriors.
“We’re helping to keep the buildings in good condition for years to come,” Shoemaker said.