St. Ignatius school construction continues on schedule
By Mary Auld for the Valley Journal
ST. IGNATIUS – Soon the St. Ignatius School District will be able to offer expanded programs and a more comfortable learning experience for students.
The school is hosting several big construction projects. The improvements were funded by a bond voters passed in 2019.
“Things are moving pretty fast now,” Superintendent Jason Sargent said. “Everything’s on schedule.” He added that construction should be completed by the end of next summer if progress continues to go smoothly.
He said while there are a lot of projects going on, regular school functioning hasn’t been significantly disrupted. There have been some shifts in the availability of parking and the schedule for middle school lunch recess has been adjusted to allow for construction. The school’s water has been shut off a few times during the day. Sargent credits the construction companies with adjusting to minimize their impacts on the school day. Carl Construction, Diamond Construction, and Camas Creek Construction are doing construction work.
According to Sargent, any disruptions to students during construction will be outweighed by the benefits of the new and improved facilities after the projects are completed. The new career and technical education building will give students the opportunity to explore a wide variety of potential career paths from technology, to welding, to culinary arts, to healthcare and auto mechanics. Students will be able to learn skills they can apply to careers as plumbers, electricians or pilots.
The district is conducting research into which career areas will have open jobs for St. Ignatius students in the next 10 years and which fields students are interested in exploring. “We want to offer as much exposure as we possibly can,” Sargent said.
Construction crews have made significant progress on the new CTE building. The metal frame for the building has been erected, and the building is nearly completely enclosed. Crews began installing base and framing materials this month.
The athletic programs will also benefit. This winter all the teams and their opponents are using just two locker rooms, which leads to scheduling difficulties, but the new gym will free up scheduling space for games and practices once it’s finished.
On the South end of the building, the gymnasium foundation is in place and the building is nearly enclosed. Crews are beginning to work on pouring concrete slabs for the gym. The next order of business is work on the interior of the gym. New locker rooms, bathrooms and the weight room will start coming together in the near future.
The elementary envelope should be completed in the next week. The old high school gym ceiling in the elementary building is a significant project, but it should be done by the end of next summer.
Sargent said the school is “blessed” with community support for the project. “We are doing everything we can to optimize every dollar to make sure that it’s going toward creating a productive, safe, positive learning environment for the future of our children,” he said.