By Joe Smillie
Peninsula Daily News
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The public is invited to tour the building at 221 W. Fir St., which just opened after a $300,000 renovation.
“We’re home now,” Principal Randy Hill said.
Open house festivities will run until 6 p.m.
Staff and students moved earlier this month from the Sequim Community School building at 220 W. Alder St. into the renovated 1979 structure on Fir Street.
The remodel transformed the former maintenance shop and home economics rooms into eight classrooms to accommodate the 12-year-old academy’s 14 teachers and 88 full-time students.
Hill said the aging community school building presented staff with a number of heating and cooling issues that led to high utility costs and uncomfortable environments for teachers and students.
“So now we’ve been able to go to a smaller space and efficiently heat and take care of our students and employees at a lot more efficient cost,” Hill said. “It was a great place to be, but it was time to get a new space and go forward.”
The Sequim School Board authorized the remodel in March of last year with the intent of opening the restored building by the start of this school year.
“We didn’t make it. But that’s OK. We’ve got a good, steady home now,” Hill said.
The bulk of the remodeling was done by the district’s maintenance staff led by John McAndie, maintenance superintendent, Hill said.
“They can’t get enough credit for the terrific job they’ve done,” he said.
The academy was the last of the programs once housed in the community school building to be moved.
The School Board voted last January to close the building to save about $75,000 annually.
Since then, the district’s preschool has moved to Helen Haller Elementary and Sequim Alternative High School has moved
to rooms at Sequim High School.
Programs not affiliated with the district, such as Head Start; Women, Infants and Children; Peninsula College’s general educational development — or GED — certificate program and English as a Second Language classes are no longer in Sequim school facilities.
Hill said the community school will remain open until the end of January, as staff finishes moving materials into the new facility.
Demolition may begin as soon as next month, he said.
For more information about the academy, phone 360-582-3403.
Sequim-Dungeness Valley Editor Joe Smillie can be reached at 360-681-2390, ext. 5052, or at email@example.com.