Voters in 2016 approved a $116 million bond for the Lake Stevens High School overhaul and a new elementary and preschool. (Lake Stevens School District)

Voters in 2016 approved a $116 million bond for the Lake Stevens High School overhaul and a new elementary and preschool. (Lake Stevens School District)

Lake Stevens High School remodeling delayed and over budget

The district believes there’s enough money to finish most of the proposed work.

LAKE STEVENS — Students and teachers may have to wait longer than expected to move into their new classrooms at Lake Stevens High School.

Campus renovations started in the summer. The project is now a few months behind and over budget. The delay was caused by a shortage of construction workers, a labor strike and the snow, district spokeswoman Jayme Taylor said.

“Our teams were working extremely hard to stay on schedule, but there were some things out of our control,” she said.

The cost of building materials also has increased since the project was drafted a few years ago, according to the district.

Construction started in June and is happening in three phases. The first part is underway now, while the others are still being planned. Because of that, it’s not clear yet what the final price will be.

Crews are working on a structure with 27 classrooms, a library and offices. They also are building a new reception and locker area for the pool.

The main building was expected to open in September, but now should be move-in ready by mid-December, said Robb Stanton, the district’s executive director of operations.

Voters in 2016 approved a $116 million bond for the Lake Stevens High School overhaul and a new elementary and preschool. (Lake Stevens School District)

Voters in 2016 approved a $116 million bond for the Lake Stevens High School overhaul and a new elementary and preschool. (Lake Stevens School District)

The setback is not expected to affect students, Taylor said.

The second phase is slated to begin next month. That part deals with the pool, which is set to get an upgraded water and air filtration system, repairs to the floors and other surfaces, as well as more seating.

It’s expected to re-open in late fall — on time. The girls’ swim team will have to meet somewhere else until it’s ready.

The construction of a three-story classroom building, a student hub and an athletic building are part of an $87 million high school upgrade. (Lake Stevens School District)

The construction of a three-story classroom building, a student hub and an athletic building are part of an $87 million high school upgrade. (Lake Stevens School District)

The district believes there’s enough money to finish those first two stages. The remaining work of phase three includes new music classrooms, upgrades to the gym and security improvements throughout campus.

“If it got to a point where we had depleted the money, we’d have to look at what we can do now and save for a later date,” Taylor said.

Money for the renovations came from voters in 2016, when they approved a $116 million bond. The money went toward a new elementary and preschool, too.

At first the high school remodel was expected to cost $87 million. The district also has received nearly $20 million from the state, and expects more state funding as construction continues.

Stephanie Davey: 425-339-3192; sdavey@heraldnet.com; Twitter: @stephrdavey.

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