Northwood Elementary—Home of the Owls— Construction Updates



    Northwood has reached completion. The Board is being requested to approve Final Acceptance of the project at the 9/14/17 meeting.

     Northwood Playgroud
    Bayley Construction and their subcontractors are continuing to put the finishing touches on the site and building.  Landscaping activities continue with sod, wood chip play area, and plantings all going in. The work on the road frontage at both 86th Avenue SE and SE 40th Street will be completed in August with new concrete walks, asphalt paths, and partial road paving. Inside the building we have moved boxes into classrooms for teacher to set up their classrooms for the first day of school. Everyone involved in the project is looking forward to our first day of school.  
    Northwood aerial 7.29.16
    Landscape in the play area Landscaping in the play area continues.
    New walk and parent queuing lane on 86th Ave SE  New walk and parent queuing lane on 86th Ave SE.  

    The District celebrated the dedication of Northwood on June 18, 2016.  Hundreds of parents, students, staff, and community leaders joined the festivities and it was a fitting opening for the first new school on the Island in over 50 years.

    The District and contractor will continue work on the facility through the summer. Landscaping is still underway and there are hundreds of little details both inside and outside the building to complete.  Boxes of teacher things have started arriving, copy machines are being placed, phones are being placed and connected.  Preparation for students will continue through the summer.

    Our welcome sign at Northwood has special meaning. Based on student information, there are 44 different native languages spoken in homes on the Island.  Welcome in each of these languages, along with the native Salish interpretation, are part of the graphic (see below).  There is also space provided to add more as we welcome new students to Northwood over the coming years.

    Northwood main entrance Main entrance to Northwood. 
    Welcome to Northwood Entrance into the Administration area.    
    Northwood east elevation
    Northwood partial east elevation.
    North elevation and path to raingarden North elevation and path to rain garden.     
    Courtyard and small play toy Courtyard and small play toy.     
    Kindergarten classroom
    Kindergarten classroom. 

    The site is a flurry of activity as Bayley Construction and the School District prepare for the dedication on Saturday, June 18. The final finishes and low voltage systems (A/V, fire alarm, cameras, security) are being installed. Ceiling tiles are going in. Cabinets and wall coverings are being finished, and furniture was delivered to the site during the last week of May.  

    Outside the building site grading continues, sidewalks are being poured, and the east parking lot and the hardscape play area south of the building are being prepared for asphalt. The site has two play toys for students and both were completed during May.

    During the first half of June crews will continue working inside the building on painting, cabinets, ceiling tile, fire alarm testing, cleaning, furniture placement, and all the finishing touches.  Asphalt for the parking area and hardscape play areas is scheduled for the second week in June.  Frontage improvements along SE 40th will be underway. Sod (in lawn rolls) will arrive and be set in place, and a portion of the plant material will arrive and be placed.

    The dedication of the building is scheduled for Saturday, June 18 at 9:00 a.m.  Parking will be available in the east lot adjacent to Mary Wayte Pool, at the Administration Building, PEAK, and in the High School lots.  While the building and site will not be 100 percent complete, we are excited to share our progress and give the community a preview of this beautiful facility that will open to students and staff in August.

    There is much to do before the dedication and every worker on site is giving the project a tremendous effort.  We hope you will smile, say hello, and thank them for their efforts over the next few weeks.

    The project continues to be within budget and on schedule. 

    Northwood aerial 5/31/16
    Current aerial photo.
    Classroom furniture at Northwood
    Furniture delivery and install in progress.
    Furniture in small group room
    Furniture in Small Group room.
    Cabinet installation
    Administration cabinet install.
    Library carpet installation
    Carpet in a portion of the library. 
    Commons wood ceiling
    Wood ceiling in the commons. 
    Northwood play structure
    Big play toy installed.

    The contractor is getting down to the final details inside the building. Cabinets are being delivered and installed, the game lines are painted on the gym floor and ceiling tiles are being installed. All spaces on the lower level of the building have finished floor materials installed and the upper level install is underway.

    Outside the building, handrails are being welded in place, concrete is being poured in the courtyard and metal wall panel have been installed. Job trailers and storage containers are being removed from the site, which is always a sign that that the end is in sight. Work on the old “North Mercer Parking Lot” has begun and grading in what will be the hardscape play area has started.   

    May will bring a flurry of activity as the contractor prepares to turn the building over to the district. Work on SE 40th Street and 86th Avenue SE frontage improvements will continue throughout the month.  The first delivery of trees arrived this week and more will follow in the weeks to come. 

    The project continues to be within budget and on schedule. Please join us for the Northwood dedication and open house on Saturday, June 18 from 9:30 to 11 a.m.

    Northwood aerial 4/28/16  
    Aerial view of Northwood site, 4/28/2016. 
     First floor classroom progress
    First floor classroom progress.
     Shared learning areas receive casewoork
    First floor shared learning areas begin to receive casework.
    Restroom off the commons  
    Restroom off the commons. 
    Music room acoustical ceiling panels installed               
    Music room acoustical ceiling panels installed.            
     Concrete in the courtyard and covered play area
    Concrete in the courtyard and covered play area.
     Main entrance off 86th Avenue SE
    Main entrance off 86th Avenue SE.  
    The aerial photo below shows the progress made on the site and exterior of the building in March. Note the completion of the solar panels, the addition of the green roof, and the preparation of the playfield in the middle right of the photo. 

    Inside the building workers are installing lights, painting, and getting ready for flooring to begin. The photo gallery below shows the progress this month.

    During April, the contractor will be working on finishes in the building. Site work will continue and frontage improvements along SE 40th Street will get underway. This work will cause 40th to be reduced to one lane occasionally, so please be patient and careful traveling in that area.

    The project continues to be within budget and on schedule.  

    Concrete walks and planters in the courtyard.
    New playfield ready for sod  
    New playfield ready for sod.
    Gym floor installation  
    Gym floor being installed.
    Owls Scoreboard in Gym  
    Owls scoreboard in main gym.
    Accent Wall Blue  
    Shared Learning Area Yellow  
    Shared Learning Area Green  
    First floor shared learning areas start to receive color accent walls.     
    New teachers visit building  
    Northwood’s new staff makes their first visit to the building.     
    Despite the challenging weather over the past couple of months, Bayley Construction and their subcontractors are making great progress on the new building and associated site work. There is somewhere between 70 and 90 tradespeople on site each day and literally hundreds of people working offsite in offices to coordinate the efforts and ensure that all the parts and pieces are delivered and fit like they should.

    Inside the building we are painting, installing ceiling grid and lighting fixtures. The basketball backboards, hoops, speakers, and the divider curtain are up in the gym. Work continues with the window system and February saw the radiant floor heating assembly go down on the first floor. Work also began on the polished concrete floor in the commons.

    Outside the building, work progressed well with continued attention to the solar panel array, cement board siding, and metal panels at the fascia and soffits. Several of the High School field event areas, including the shot put and discus pad, were originally located on the new school’s playfield and a significant amount of work was done to relocate these up to the Upper North Field. This work is nearly complete and being used by the High School students for spring sports. Additional site work included grading at the playfield and the pouring of multiple sidewalks around the building. Work to clean up and restore the Madrone Grove at the corner of 86th Avenue SE and SE 40th Street continues to take shape.

    During February we began the work along SE 40th Street. The sewer tie-in for the building was installed, power was pulled from poles on the north side of the street, and the gas connection was made. A tie-in to the water system along this street is also being worked on. During March, the District’s frontage improvements that include curb, gutter, sidewalk, and a planting strip will get underway and should progress from east to west along 40th, then turn the corner and work south along 86th.

    March will also see the second floor classrooms receive the radiant floor heating system, interior wood window frames and glass will get started. Paint, ceiling grid, tile in the kitchen and restrooms, and a host of finishes in the classrooms will be happening as well.

    The project continues to be within budget and on schedule.
    Aerial view of Northwood site, 2/27/16  
    Aerial view of Northwood site, 2/27/16
    Gym receives first color  
    Gym gets first pop of color; basketball hoops, ceiling grid and lighting are installed 
    Installation of topping slab over radiant floor tubing  
     Topping slab being placed over radiant floor tubing.
    Cement board siding being installed  
    Cement board siding installed.
    As part of the District’s site work for Northwood Elementary, the small, wooded Madrone Grove at the northwest corner of the site (86th Avenue SE and SE 40th Street) is being restored. The District’s arborist, Canopy Conservation, has completed a detailed survey of the grove and provided recommendations for restoration. Work in this area includes hand-only removal of invasive species such as blackberries and holly. Native plants, including the trees, Salal and the small Madrone shoots are being retained. Wood chips will be placed in the area to help with invasive and weed control. A small, pervious foot path will also be installed in the next few months to give Northwood students supervised access to the woods. 
    Madrone Grove  
    Work on the District’s new elementary school continues as planned. Inside, the building is fully framed with activities ranging from mechanical and electrical rough-in to interior painting. Outside, the brick veneer is nearly complete, the attachment system for the cement boards and metal cladding is in progress, and window frames and glass are being installed. Site work in December and January included asphalt for the bus loop, retaining walls, and numerous utility connections.
    NW Aerial photo from December 30, 2015
    Aerial photo from December 30, 2015

    Work on all these activities will continue through February and March. Outside the building to the east between the Northwood and the upper north field, there is also a large wall being built that can be seen from 40th Street. This wall represents a screen wall for the service area wall that will hide garbage collection, generator, gas meter, and the electrical transformer. Once formed, the plywood will be stripped off, and it will receive the same brick veneer seen on the building.
    2nd floor classrooms looking east
    2nd floor classrooms looking east
    Service yard site work
    Service yard site work
    Storefront window installation
    Storefront window installation
    Painting walls and ceiling in Commons
    Painting walls and ceiling in Commons

    Over the next month, the installation of over 300 photovoltaic (solar) panels will get underway. The panels will cover most of the classroom wing roof. Both Northwood and Islander Middle School will have these large installations of panels.

    The project continues to be within budget and on schedule.
    Bayley Construction continued to make good progress on Northwood Elementary School in November. On the exterior of the structure, brick veneer placement continued, metal roof panels were installed, weatherproofing (the white fluid applied material) progressed and soffits, gutters, and the balance of the skylights were installed. The interior of the building is framed, sheetrock is being installed, and painting is scheduled to begin early in December.

    Much work occurred around the building as the contractor set down curbs and the first lift of asphalt at the west entry. Puget Sound Energy placed vaults and conduit for the gas and electrical services. Work is underway to prepare the bus loop and parking area to the east for curbs and asphalt in December, weather permitting.
    Aerial site photo, November 28, 2015
     Above: Aerial site photo, November 28, 2015 
          Commons area looking west   
    Above: Commons area looking west
    Gym drywall taped and sanded
    Above: Gym drywall taped and sanded 
    Courtyard brick installation  
    Above: Courtyard brick installation 
    West access drive, parking area  
    Above: West access drive, parking area 
    Work in December will include initial installation of the cement board panel and window systems (no glass will be placed until after the first of the year), and laying more brick. The building currently has plastic sealing over the large openings. The majority of these openings will be windows and the plastic preserves heat to move finishes along prior to the building systems being up and operational. As the window frames are installed, the plastic will come down, the frame will go in, and the plastic will be reinstalled. This allows continued work on drywall, paint, and relite (inside windows) frame installation. Work on the mechanical and electrical systems is progressing.
    The project continues to be on schedule and within budget.
    During October contractors continued work on the roof, wall framing and the mechanical / electrical rough-in. The placement of the brick veneer on the building exterior also began. For most areas, the brick will face the lower 12 feet of the building and fiber cement boards will be installed from 12 feet to the roofline. There are a few exceptions to this such as the southeast corner of the building that is adjacent to the playfield. This area will be covered with brick from the ground level up to the roof line to ensure long term durability.
    Aerial photo from October 30, 2015  
    Aerial photo from October 30, 2015
    Brick at SE corner of building  
    Brick at SE corner of building 
    The large stormwater infiltration pond along 40th Avenue SE was filled with rock and topped with soil for the rain garden and plants were added. It is now an active system. Clean water from the school roof flows into pipes and directly into the ground infiltration structure that was visible last month. Once the first lift of asphalt is placed at the west parking area off 86th Avenue SE, the runoff will be directed to flow through the rain garden. The soil and plants will remove oil and clean water will seep into the large pipes and rock and will then infiltrate into the ground.
    pic 3  pic 2  pic 3
    During November and weather permitting, the contractor plans to get a portion of the curbs poured and the first lift of asphalt down at the west parking area off 86th Avenue SE. Inside the building, framing, sheetrock, mechanical and electrical work will continue.

    The project continues to be on schedule and within budget.
    Several significant milestones were reached on the project during September including the pours for the final building footings and completion of the structural steel. Roofing, framing, sheathing, and mechanical / electrical rough-in, are well underway and proceeding on schedule.

    The site, especially along the west side – 86th Avenue S.E., is starting to resemble its final elevations:
    Site plan.  
    The site plan above shows the three parking areas associated with the new school. The area framed in yellow, off 86th Avenue S.E. will accommodate parking for approximately 50 cars along with a separate, generously-sized pick-up / drop-off lane. This lot will support the main entry of the building and will accommodate a portion of the staff parking and all visitor parking. The area to the east, off S.E. 40th Street, shown above framed in maroon, will provide parking for High School students during the day as it does now. It will also provide event and after school parking for the new school and for the Mary Wayte pool which sits just east. The area outlined in black provides another 15 parking stalls that will be dedicated to staff parking for the new school.

    October will bring more wall framing, roofing, and a large retaining wall concrete pour at the entry off 86th Avenue S.E. If the stars align, brick work will begin along with the first lift of asphalt at the main parking area at the front of the building.
    aerial view 9-30-15  
    Aerial photo from September 30, 2015
    Metal roof being installed above the gym/music building  
    Metal roofing being installed above the gym/music building.
    View of building from southwest of site. Future home of hardscape play.  
    View of building from southwest of site.
    Future home of hardscape play.
    Bayley Construction continues to make good progress on our new elementary school. The steel structure is nearing completion, metal framing is progressing and exterior sheathing has started. Plumbing and HVAC ductwork inside the building is underway as well.

    The large storm water infiltration system is progressing as planned. The excavation and placement of pipe was completed in August and the contractor is placing the rock in, over, and around the pipes. Off 86th Avenue SE the main entry to the school is starting to come together. Large water vaults have been placed there and service is being brought across to the structure. Relocation of the high school’s track and field events is also moving along smoothly. Retaining walls are in and backfilling of soil is underway.

    Plans are in place for the start of the school on 9/8/15. Student parking for the high school will be reopened off SE 40th Street immediately, and the pedestrian path, from the high school to 86th Street will reopen in mid-September.

    During September expect to see the site work take shape as the contractor prepares for fall weather with metal deck and the first layer of roofing will continue along with wall framing and sheathing.

    The project continues to be on schedule and within budget. 
    Aerial photo from 1 September 2015  
    Aerial photo from September 1, 2015
    Large infiltration pipes being set  
    Large infiltration pipes being set     
    Exterior wall sheathing shown    along the southeast section of the Building  
    Exterior wall sheathing shown along the southeast
    section of the building  
    Bayley Construction continues to make good progress on our new elementary school. While it seems like the building has taken shape overnight, it is actually the product of months of work - behind the scenes and in the dirt. What you see going up these past few weeks includes steel trusses, beams and columns for the gym, music room, kitchen and commons portions of the building. Roof deck has also begun and will continue in these areas. The concrete slab has been poured for the commons (cafeteria) section, and work is progressing to the west, then north. Soon the work will turn east as the two-story classroom structure begins to take shape.
    A peek into the Commons section of the building
    A peek into the Commons section of the building 

    Site work is also progressing well. The pad for the west entry, parent pick-up/drop-off lane, and parking lot are taking shape. The big mound of soil here is just storage of material. This will come down to about a four (4)-foot below the level of 86th Avenue SE. The huge excavation at the north side of the site along SE 42nd Street is the site’s new storm water infiltration facility. We have a bit more excavation to do, then a good amount of sand will be placed in the bottom of the excavation along with a series of very large perforated pipes. These are 72” in diameter – large enough for most of us to stand upright in. We have 192 lineal feet of this pipe to place. Once the pipe structure is complete, it will be covered with gravel, then special soil and very specific plant material. This massive structure will function as a rain garden to clean the water that runs off parking areas and then it will facilitate the infiltration of all site storm water runoff into the ground. The new school has a teaching area located close to 'Mable, our large Maple tree, where students will learn about the process and what it means for our environment.

    We have also been working on the relocation of the shot-put, pole vault, and discus ring for high school athletics. These will be moving east up the hill and will open up the field where they were housed. Due to this work, the path between the high school parking lot and the PEAK remains closed, but will re-open in the fall. The designated high school student parking area off SE 40th Street has been used this summer to stage steel and contractor parking but will be cleaned up, restriped, and turned back over to the District soon for student parking.

    The project is on schedule and within budget.
    Aerial photo from 3 August 2015  
    Aerial photo from 3 August 2015
    Shear walls and stem walls being formed in the northwest corner of the builidng  
    Shear walls and stem walls being formed in the northwest corner of the building
    Bayley Construction continues to make great progress on the new school. Shear walls continue to be formed, poured and stripped. The concrete slab for the gym floor was poured last week and the stage and music area slabs were poured this week. Individual rooms are starting to take shape. Shear walls and stem walls are developing for the commons section of the school (quiet dining, dining commons, reading commons and learning commons) located just west of the kitchen. Moving farther west, you can see walls for the stairwell off the new student drop off, along with footings, stem walls and the elevator pit being formed in the northwest section of the building. Steel deliveries have begun and steel erection is scheduled e to start before the end of July.

    Bayley Construction is relocating the track and field events to their new home up the hill and adjacent to the Upper North Field. Our utility work for storm line relocation, new water loop, and sewer also continues. Due to this work, the path between the High School Parking Lot and PEAK will remain closed through August as planned.
    Aerial photo from 2 July 2015  
    Aerial photo from 2 July 2015 
    Gymnasium slab being poured.  
    Gymnasium slab being poured
    Shear walls being formed for stairwell by new student drop off.
    Shear walls being formed for stairwell by new student drop off
    The contractor finished the installation of 1,109 Geopiers on the site last week. The process went well with the addition of only one pier more than planned. Excavation, formwork, rebar and concrete for footings continue. The large walls being formed on the south side of the site are shear walls for the new gymnasium. These activities will continue through June and into July.

    In addition to the activities you can see on the site, there is a tremendous amount of working being done off site. The steel structure is being detailed and fabrication has begun. Detailed shop drawings for roof joists, metal floor decking, mechanical piping and ducting, fire sprinklers, and all the components of the building are being prepared, reviewed, discussed, coordinated and finalized for delivery and installation.
    Footings in place for the gym, kitchen, and a portion of the commons.
     Above: Footings in place for the gym, kitchen, and a portion of the commons 

    During the summer break, a number of utilities will be installed at the high school parking lot off of SE 40th Street, between the new school site and the Mary Wayte Pool. This lot will be closed for much of the summer to allow for the installation of a new water service, storm piping, and electrical service for the new building. Parking for access to the tennis courts and playfields should be in the back lot at the high school, behind the gym.
    Setting shear wall forms
     Above: Setting shear wall forms
    Library / Commons footings
    Above: Library / Commons footings

    The path that cuts through the district campus from the high school to the PEAK (Boys and Girls Club) will be closed from June 22 through August. Track and Field events including pole vault, shot put, and discus will be moved. Water connections need to be made, and the fire access lane to the south of the new school needs to be roughed in. Signs will be posted at both the east and west access points to this path.

    We continue to make great progress at the Elementary No. 4 site. The geopier installation is going well and is on schedule. Of the 1,108 piers, 549 are in, and our first footing forms were placed last week. Work on the large storm-line and deep plumbing lines under the building continues. During the next few weeks we will continue with the pier installation and footings.
    Footing excavations  
    Above: Footing excavations
    First footings at SE corner of gym building  
    First footings at SE corner of gym building
    Continued installation of Geopiers
     Continued installation of Geopiers
    Site work for the new elementary school continues. Geopier mobilized onsite Monday and began work installing the rammed aggregate piers (RAP’s). See the previous update for a link Geopier’s Youtube video on the science and process behind these piers.

    Installation of new stormwater lines and structures, as well as plumbing lines under the building pad, are also underway.
     Site work for the new elementary school continues.  Geopier mobilized onsite Monday and began work installing the rammed agre
    Geopier drill rig
    Underground plumbing at the classroom wing  
    Underground plumbing at the classroom wing

    Bayley Construction and their site subcontractor, Iliad, have made great progress in the past few weeks. Most of the old footings and Elem1 concrete slabs from the North Mercer campus have been removed, sorted, and hauled away. Trees were removed, and the grading and utility installations are underway. We have also reconfigured the high school student parking area adjacent to the Mary Wayte Pool. The number of stalls remain the same but the lot has changed shape to allow construction to proceed.

    The underground topography of this particular site is interesting and unique. The ravine to the north actually continues underground and south through the school property. The ravine was filled at some point, maybe with the construction of the first school on the site or maybe before, and as anticipated, we have very poor soil conditions in that area. This fill ranges from 4’ to 20’ depending on the location. Due to the presence of this fill, the new school will be supported by a series of approximately 1,100 Geopiers. These are columns of rock that extend from just below foundations and slabs down through the fill and bear on dense, native soil. We expect the installation of these piers will take about six weeks. Here is a link to a Geopier video that will help explain the science behind these piers and the installation method.

    Work over the next few weeks will include grading, utilities, and the mobilization of the Geopier equipment.



    On a sunny Tuesday afternoon, the Mercer Island School District celebrated the groundbreaking of Elementary No. 4 at its future site on the North Mercer campus. Mercer Island School Board members were joined by members of the Mercer Island City Council, including Mayor Bruce Bassett, and a group of young students who will attend the new elementary school in the fall of 2016.

    “Ultimately we are building not just a school; we are building a wonderful community resource that we all can enjoy and appreciate,” said Mercer Island School Board President Janet Frohnmayer.

    “This is a spectacular moment for our community,” said Mayor Bassett. “My hat is off to the school board and all of the folks who worked on this.” Read more...

    The contractor is officially on site and work has begun to remove the old slabs and foundations of the North Mercer buildings. Eventually all of the old concrete and asphalt will be removed, but in the near-term some areas will be left for staging of materials and high school student parking. Over the next few weeks, we will see site work continue, subcontractor trailers will be arriving on site, and there will be a reconfiguration of the student parking west of the Mary Wayte Swimming Pool. The total number of student stalls on the site now will remain the same, but the shape of the lot will change. We expect this rearrangement to occur over spring break. 
    elementary groundbreaking  
    The groundbreaking celebration for the new school took place on March 17th. Click here to read about the event and to see pictures. 
    On Tuesday, Feb. 24, the Mercer Island School Board authorized award of the construction contract for the new Elementary No. 4 to Bayley Construction of Mercer Island. Bayley has a long history on Mercer Island. The contract will include the base bid and all alternates listed on the Bid Tabulation Form. Building permits will be issued this week and we expect work to begin on site within the next few weeks. 
    The Mercer Island School District opened bids from three general contractors on Feb. 11, 2015. The bids were within the budget and staff is in the process of reviewing the qualifications of the apparent low bidder. The bid tabulation form is available here. Award of the contract is planned for late February and work is expected to begin in March.
    Our abatement activities are complete on the site. Puget Sound Energy has cut power to the site and removed the transformers. As of today, the buildings are all down. Demolition activities should wrap up in the next couple of weeks. There will be lots of material sorting and several trucks moving in and out of the site as the remaining debris is hauled away. There will also be a lot of general cleanup in preparation for the construction of the new elementary school.

    The construction documents for the new school are out for bids and we are on schedule to receive and open bids from general contractors on Feb. 11. 
    CGI, the school district’s contractor, is making great progress on the abatement and removal of the old North Mercer facility. They still have a few spaces inside the gym building to finish abatement on before the full structure can be removed. We are working with Puget Sound Energy to shut down power so we can complete the work on the small classroom building that remains. In the meantime are removing the roof structure, built-up roofing, and may start demolition from west to east.

    The Invitation to Bid for the new Elementary was published on 1/14/15 and bids are due from contractors in February.
    Good progress was made on the removal of the old North Mercer facilities over winter break. Abatement activities continue in the old gym/theater building and demolition of the classroom is well underway. The materials are being sorted into concrete, steel, and general debris, all of which is sent to specific recycling or disposal centers. This process is a little like peeling an onion. The days of the wrecking ball are a thing of the past.

    Construction drawings for the new Elementary No. 4 building are nearing completion. The project is scheduled to be released for bids the second week in January with a bid opening in mid-February. Both the demolition and new construction are on schedule and within budget.

    The contractor is continuing with abatement and demolition activities. We are planning to begin the structural demolition of the classroom  building late this week or early next. This week’s photo shows the continued removal of old roofing material that has to be disposed of separate from the construction waste and concrete. 
    The contractor continues with abatement of hazardous materials in the gym and demolition of the classroom building.
    We expect this will continue well into January with construction of the new elementary still on schedule to begin in the spring of 2015. 

    Abatement in the gym and demolition of the classroom building continued last week. The metal roof has been coming off the classroom wing and you can see the original roof structure beneath. It is a slow process with all the metal being collected separately and sent for recycling. We continue to haul various containers of debris away each day and what you see now will continue for the next few weeks.


    20141118E4 Abatement in both the gym and classroom building continued last week. We expect to be hauling material off the site this week and if all goes as planned, demolition of the classroom building should begin. The photo to the right shows a room in the old junior high building where the caulking, the material that sealed the joints between the concrete structure and the concrete block infill, had to be removed and disposed of prior to demolition. Also note the floors, where tile and the mastic used to secure them have been removed.  


    20141110E4 It may seem from the street like not much is going on at the old North Mercer campus, but there is.  Our contractor had 14-16 abatement workers on site each day last week and they are working to get all of the hazardous material out before the actual structural demolition of the buildings can begin.  The photo shows piping in the process of being removed.  Sheetrock (soft demo) must be removed to expose the pipes above.  These pipes must be wrapped, cut, and disposed of properly and there is nearly 1,000 feet of this between the three structures.  Nothing new was found last week, and for this type of project, that makes for a good week!

    20141027E4 The Contractor continues to make good progress on the abatement and demolition activities at the old North Mercer facility. We had hoped to begin taking down the gym building late last week but have found additional asbestos material that must be removed. The District anticipated that given the age and construction of these buildings, it was very likely additional ACM, asbestos containing materials would be found as interior demolition occurred. The projects are still on schedule and within budget.

    The contractor is making good progress preparing the buildings for demolition. Soft demolition work continues in all three buildings and abatement activities have begun in some portions of the gym structure. To the right is a great picture to give you a sense of how much stuff there is to be removed. The metal hangers you see were the support for the drop ceiling. It is a slow process as materials are sorted into piles for transport to the proper disposal and recycling facilities. We used to have to “require” the contractor to obtain a certain level of recycling but the market forces have taken over and now it is really the only cost effective way to dispose of various components.

    Work began on the demolition of the facility last week. Minor soft demolition, including cabinets, carpet, low voltage wiring, and a few walls was underway in all buildings. The next two weeks it will look quiet on site, but there is actually crew of 10 people inside the gym building performing abatement activities. The gym is currently scheduled for demolition the week of 10/27/14.

    C.H.I.L.D. school is officially out of the North Mercer building. This leaves the facility fully vacant for the first time in 50 some years. The demolition contractor will be taking possession of the site this week with abatement work scheduled to begin shortly thereafter. The fencing will be buttoned up this week which will limit public access to only the High School parking area just west of the pool. If you have events planned at any of the fields in the evenings or weekends, you will need to park in this lot. All others access points will be fenced off and locked.


    20141006E4 The School Board authorized award of the abatement and demolition contract to Construction Group International, LLC, (CGI). Fencing was installed around the site over the weekend and a new, enlarged high school student parking area was created. Country Village has moved out and is into their new building close to City Hall. C.H.I.L.D. will be in session this week at the North Mercer buildings with their move out scheduled for the 11th and 12th of October. The contractor is expected to begin work the week of the 13th. The project is within budget and on schedule.


    Bids were received last week for the first phase of work -- abatement and demolition of the old North Mercer buildings. Seven bids were submitted. Award of the contract is expected to be authorized by the Board on Thursday. Fencing will be going up this week around the site and the parking area for high school students will be redefined and striped (weather permitting) next weekend.


    The Mercer Island School District opened bids yesterday for the Abatement/Demolition project for Elementary School #4. A copy of the bid tabulation may be viewed here. We are reviewing the bids and expect to obtain Mercer Island School Board authorization to award the contract next week.

    E492214 It was a relatively quiet week at North Mercer last week. Removal of the old gym floor continued and the district walked the site with the Fire Marshall in anticipation of temporary fencing being installed. This week the district is scheduled to open bids for the Demolition and Abatement contract. Portions of the fencing may arrive as well but all parking and access will remain open. Country Village Day School is scheduled to begin moving to their new facility at the bottom of Gallagher Hill so there will be lots of moving vans, dumpsters and activity.  

    We had lots of activity at the North Mercer site last week. The big oil tank came out and given how those things can go, it went very well. We have some minor soil contamination in the area of the feed lines into the old boiler building. It appears to be a manageable Elem4tank amount and we were able to fill the hole back in with native soil and pea gravel. This was an important task to take on early. The tank was nearly 50 years old and there is really no way to know what you have short of digging in and getting the tank out. We had expected to have to leave this hole open potentially for weeks while we removed soil and continued testing and were very pleased that it could be filled in early. Although we do have some contaminated soil to address during the construction of the new elementary school, we now know where it is and can make an educated guess on the quantity.

    Salvage of the wood floor in the old gym started last week as well. The old varnish is being sanded off, then approximately 4’ x 8’ sections will be cut out, nails removed, and the maple boards pulled off, stacked on pallets, and stored by the district. This wood will be reinstalled in a corridor and stage off the gym in the new elementary. We are saving a few trees and like the idea of reusing and incorporating what we can into the new buildings.

    Elem4Court The design plans for the new elementary were formally reviewed by the City of Mercer Island Design Commission last week as well.  The project has been before the commission twice for Study Sessions but this was the first of two, formal open-public hearings. The project received preliminary approval with several very minor conditions such as complying with SEPA and providing a photo of the surface, reveals and form-tie holes planned on exposed concrete walls. It was a milestone in the permitting process and enables us to appear for a final hearing and obtain approval in October. There are still many other permitting challenges to meet but this was a big accomplishment for the design team.

    E41 Work started on Saturday to prepare the site located off SE 40th Street near Gallagher Hill Road for the new school. We took down a pine tree that was sitting on top of an old underground heating oil tank. On Monday we will be removing that tank and testing soil for contamination. The gym floor at the North Mercer Gym will be rough-sanded and removed over the next two weeks and various other components of the building are being removed for reuse including lockers, basketball hoop structures, the scoreboard, toilet fixtures and sinks.
    Click here to see a photo of the heating oil tank being removed from the ground.
    Design for the new school is wrapping up and we are moving into the 'Construction Documents' phase. By now the footprint, site layout, building mechanical and electrical systems and structural layout have been decided upon and our team of architects and engineers is busy preparing the drawings and details that will form the roadmap for permitting and building the new school. Starting in September you will see lots of activity happening at the old North Mercer facilities. We are removing an old 4,000 gallon heating oil tank this month and will be salvaging the original gym floor for use in the new elementary school building. The call for bids has gone out for the demolition and abatement portion of the work which is scheduled to begin in October. This work will continue through the end of the year. The project is within the established budget and on schedule.
    Click here to see the latest design updates.