EVERETT — A strike by construction workers continued into Labor Day weekend, though a partial resolution promised to restart some idle job sites.
Laborers are now expected to begin a long-awaited renovation at the Snohomish County Courthouse on Tuesday, said Ken Klein, an executive director for the county. Progress stalled on that project and many others throughout the region nearly two weeks ago, when members of the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 302 went on strike after voting to reject a contract proposal.
The work stoppage continues to cause slowdowns on road projects throughout the county, along with a new YMCA in Everett and a high school upgrade in Lake Stevens.
The strike affects tower cranes, concrete pumpers, dirt work, pavers, hoisting, hauling and other heavy equipment on job sites in much of the Puget Sound region, the Olympic Peninsula and Central Washington.
On Thursday, union leaders announced signing a new master labor agreement with some contractors, but not all, according to the Local 302 website. Labor problems persist on local projects, though.
Workers continued to picket Friday outside the YMCA construction project at 4730 Colby Ave. Work there began earlier this summer. The 60,000 square-foot building will include two swimming pools. An indoor track, a permanent space for the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Snohomish County program, a full-size gym, group exercise classes and a drop-in daycare also are planned. It’s expected to cost $33 million.
The construction delay is of growing concern, said Scott Washburn, president and CEO of the YMCA of Snohomish County. He hopes the labor dispute can be resolved in days rather than weeks.
Heavy equipment operators have been reshaping the site “and that work is always best done in the dry season,” Washburn said. Ideally, that work would be done by early November.
“There is a lot of work to be done,” he said. “Unfortunately, it is all out of our control.”
The YMCA purchased the 8.1-acre site in 2015 for $3.3 million from the Everett School District. It arranged for a southern portion of its land to be used as a neighborhood park for the Glacier View area.
In Lake Stevens, an $87 million high school upgrade began in June. It will include a three-story classroom building, a student hub and an athletic building. Voters in 2016 approved a $116 million bond for the high school overhaul, a new elementary school and a new preschool.
The district had to bring in non-union workers to prepare a spot for bus dropoff and pickup, along with some parking before the school year begins next week, officials said. Crews will be working through the weekend on the site on the west end of campus, where there were once more than a dozen portables.
Finishing that project is important for student safety, said Jayme Taylor, a spokeswoman for the Lake Stevens School District.
In the Everett School District, the strike for now is expected to have a “very minor” short-term impact on construction work at North Middle School and a new, 18th elementary school in the district’s south end.
“That could change in the future if it continues much longer,” said Mike Gunn, executive director of facilities and operations.
Noah Haglund: 425-339-3465; nhaglund@herald net.com. Twitter: @NWhaglund.