Demolition started Tuesday on the old May Street Elementary School.
Machines clawed away the awning of the former entryway located next to the kitchen, then knocked down the roof of the kitchen and adjoining cafeteria.
The old makes way for the new, with the two-story replacement on track for teachers to start moving into the new building Aug. 19 and students to hit the classrooms on Sept. 3.
Fencing will still be up at that time, as demolition work will overlap with the opening of school.
“Demolition will take a month-and-a-half, until we have everything done completely and then move into the site preparation phase,” said Mike Carter, project supervisor with Kirby Nagelhout Construction. Project completion is scheduled for mid-November.
“We go right up next to winter, hopefully Mother Nature will be nice to us,” Carter said.
This week, large machines known as crawler loaders with four-foot-wide buckets knocked apart pieces of the old structure and then picked up masses of broken beams, framing, roofing material and siding and scooped the debris into waiting dump trucks, tamping down the loads.
Brick, metal and other pieces were extracted and kept in piles for salvage.
The school, as a demolition site, is now the property of the demolition contractor, 3 Kings Environmental-Excavating-Demolition, based in Vancouver and Seattle. Parts of the building will be landfilled or kept for salvage and re-sale by 3 Kings.
The old gym, the tallest part of the campus, will be torn down last.
Carter said, “3 Kings is focused on getting the lower structure down and coming in from the May Street side before pulling the taller structure down where we’re not having stuff fall on the lower structure.”
In the new building, walls have been colorfully painted, cabinetry installed and even the basketball nets placed on backboard rims. The kitchen is built out down to the warming pans for food service.
Mechanical final inspections are complete, and the plumbing and electrical finals happen on Monday, according to Carter.
The elevator state inspection is next week along with a partial inspection of bathrooms and classrooms for Americans With Disabilities compliance.
“We’re checking these things off the list as quick as we can and working through it,” Carter said.
Salvaged bleacher wood pieces are being used in cabinetry in the new library and front reception, and as sound buffer in the gymnasium.
The bleacher wood will be installed in the gym after completion of the floor work, which is scheduled to start Saturday.
Road work update
Closure of May Street between Eighth and 10th will last about a month and a half.
Northwest Natural Gas crews will finish Aug. 8, and then Kirby Nagelhout can go to work on replacing shallow utilities including stormpiping and domestic water.
Sidewalk and curbing installation, and the new street surface, will not start for at least a month.
On the other three sides of the campus, motorists and pedestrians should look out for demolition dumpsters leaving periodically throughout the day. Traffic on 10th Street is northbound only.