Red Rock Elementary School construction still behind schedule

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File photo Students from Red Rock Elementary School enjoy their new classroom after it was remodeled last winter. Their classroom was part of phase one of the construction.

ROYAL CITY — The construction at Red Rock Elementary School is continuing, was the report during a regular meeting of the Royal School Board on Monday, Oct. 28.

“We’re on budget, but not on schedule,” said Dolly Ramminger, a Yakima Educational Service District construction manager. “I can’t get them to commit.”

Ramminger said she thinks it will probably be December before the building is complete. The gymnasium floor is currently scheduled to go in the first week of December, with the bleachers being installed the following week.

The kitchen is being framed in this week. At the moment, the contractor is saying that the front of the building should be done in another two weeks. Then they will start on the back.

Work on the new elevator has also been delayed. They are still in the framing process, rather than being ready to install it as planned.

While the work has been slowed and delayed multiple times, Ramminger said that the quality of the work has been good. Also, the parking lot has been installed in time for the cold weather.

“The good news about Red Rock is that it really doesn’t matter to us at this point,” said David Andra, Red Rock Elementary School principal. “We’re kind of in the swing of things.”

Andra said that the only class having any issues is physical education.

“We’ve done it outside as long as we possibly can,” Andra said. “We’ve been lucky.”

With the cold weather and no gymnasium, physical education has been moved into the classrooms. Andra said that they are shifting the curriculum slightly to cover topics such as stretching, food and learning about the body.

“The kids are small,” Andra said. “We have a lot of flexibility. No one is chomping at the bit. Why move over a weekend if we can move over Christmas break?”

Andra also commented that construction this year is much easier to work around than it was last year.

Ramminger’s biggest fear is that the gymnasium won’t be completed in time for the Christmas concert.

“We have nowhere else to go,” Ramminger said.

Once the work is done, an occupancy permit will have to be acquired before the school can use the rest of the building.

There was some talk during the meeting of what steps the district could take to penalize the construction company for the extension of the project without approval. It was decided that further discussion was needed before any action could be finalized. Currently, there is $2.5 million on the project yet to be billed.

Rachal Pinkerton may be reached via email at rpinkerton@suntribunenews.com.

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