Work finishing on Everett schools headquarters

Workers are finishing construction on the Everett School District’s new $23.8 million administration building, with the first offices expected to open for business Oct. 14.

The two-story, 66,365-square-foot building is on the corner of Broadway and 41st Street SE in Everett, adjacent to the Everett AquaSox baseball field.

“I understand the carpets are in and the painting is done,” said Mary Waggoner, school district spokeswoman. “There’s lots of work going on to get it finished so there’s no obstacles in the way for the move-in.”

Staff will continue moving until early November. Approximately 150 employees eventually will work there.

The first school board meeting in the new quarters is scheduled for Nov. 26.

A new, larger room for school board meetings will be a welcome change for people who show up for the twice-monthly meetings at its current building at 4730 Colby Ave. The space there is small and cramped with seating for just 50 people. That can often leave people standing in the hallway waiting for a seat.

“The meeting room will be much bigger,” Waggoner said, with capacity for up to 255 people. “We will have the ability to double the size of the board room with panels that open and close. People won’t be standing in the hall.”

The building will have a number of conference rooms available for rent by community groups, she said.

Talk of the need for a new administration building dates back nearly two decades.

A series of community meetings was held in 2008 to discuss plans for its construction. Those plans were scuttled in 2009 because of the economic recession.

In 2011, the school board decided to move ahead with the project, bundling it in one vote with plans to build new tracks at Cascade and Jackson high schools.

The new building will replace administrative offices now scattered among three sites. The Colby Avenue building, where Superintendent Gary Cohn has his office, was designed in 1964. “It’s lasted approximately 50 years, but even it is not large enough for all the staff,” Waggoner said.

Other employees are now working in portable classrooms behind Jackson Elementary School.

Another group of offices is housed in the Longfellow building at 3715 Oakes Ave. The former elementary school was built in 1911 and converted to an office building in 1970.

Energy costs per square foot for the Colby and Oakes buildings exceed those of any of the district’s schools, Waggoner said.

Sharon Salyer: 425-339-3486; ssalyer@heraldnet.com.

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