After months of planning and renovation, the new and improved Central Kitsap Middle School opened its doors to students for the first time on Monday, April 8.
Students, faculty and parents were buzzing with anticipation of the first bell, signifying the start of class – and a new era.
The school sits high atop Anderson Hill with views overlooking downtown Silverdale. The three-story school offers new amenities in almost every fashion. New desks, chairs, lighting and technology are noticeable around the school and in classrooms.
Natural lighting is also a big feature, with more windows surrounding the classrooms and hallways. A new security entry system has been implemented as well, something that Central Kitsap School District will incorporate in all their school upgrades. The new facility also works to compliment the ever-growing community of Silverdale with enhanced parking areas.
“Over the last several weeks, we’ve transitioned our students to come into the building,” Central Kitsap Middle School Principal Scott McDaniel said. “We’ve seen super excitement on their faces as they’re excited to show up to school and be part of the new facility.”
The old Central Kitsap Middle School was built in 1959 and was in need of updating in key areas. Students today need modern science and engineering labs to keep up with the evolving curriculum, according to ckschools.org. All students are provided with Google Chromebooks to serve as a centralized platform for learning.
“This building comes with lots of resources that weren’t available in the last building, including a design that actually makes sense in terms of flow for kids,” McDaniel said. “In particular, the biggest part is designed around a middle school experience focused on teamwork and collaboration and you see that in lots of different areas around the building.”
Permanent classroom space will be utilized in efforts to get students out of portables. State-of-the-art lab and technical areas will allow students to use materials and build skills for future careers. Not to mention, there is much more space available to ease pedestrian traffic jams around the campus. Most major systems from plumbing, heating and electricity also needed to be replaced. Athletic facilities were refurbished, including a new synthetic turf football and soccer field with lights and a scoreboard.
“Coming from the old Central Kitsap Middle School, there were lots of issues,” McDaniel said. “To be able to give this building to our students and our community is going to profoundly change how we do stuff.”
Central Kitsap High School is undergoing similar renovations, but won’t be open until Fall 2019 for the start of the school year. The two schools will be side-by-side in the center of the existing campus and each school will operate independently with separate entries, commons and classrooms. Some resources will be shared such as the kitchen and career and technical labs.
This renovation project started in early 2016, when the Kitsap County Auditor certified the passage of a bond and levy measures for Central Kitsap schools. Demolition began in the Summer of 2017.
Construction took place from Fall 2017 up until the end of 2018. Design and construction were completed by Integrus Architecture and Skanksa USA Building. The rest of the touch-ups involved technology installation and other minor work ahead of the school’s opening.