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Bellevue Schools OK Renovation Plans; Student Honored for Eagle Scout Work

The Bellevue board of education gave the OK to move forward on multiple capital construction projects across the district.

The $6 million effort is to include new roofs for the high school, elementary, and gym buildings, and also renovations to the high school bathrooms.

Grandview Elementary is also set to have a new security entrance, while a new gated outdoor classroom is to be installed as well.

The high school is slated for a new HVAC system while the elementary is scheduled for new air conditioning units in its windows.

Bellevue High School pipes are also being evaluated after it was discovered that they are filled with a sludge that needs to be removed.

The entire project should be completed by mid-year 2022.

Architect Ehmet Hayes expressed some concerns about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on construction prices, which he warned could increase as materials become scarce. He said that contractors are eager to work on projects, though.

Hayes is working on a project at Florence Elementary which he views as a possible example for what Bellevue could expect as it relates to prices and work flow in the pandemic.

The project in Bellevue is set to go out for bid in May.

The school board also approved an application to seek $500,000 per year for five years to offer a full-service community school to improve the coordination, integration, accessibility, and effectiveness of services for students and families.

Superintendent Robb Smith said that all students who chose to return to in-person learning will be back in the classroom five days a week starting March 8. There is still a virtual option for those who don't want to be in person.

The board also welcomed Bellevue sophomore T.J. Southwick and praised him for the work he has done at the Family Resource and Youth Center at Grandview Elementary.

Southwick is working to become an Eagle Scout and worked to secure a new three-door refrigerator, and creating shelving for the center. He also helped in the creation of a new food pantry at the elementary school.

"T.J. Southwick is the epitome of the qualities we try to instill in our Bellevue students," said Superintendent Robb Smith. "We are incredibly proud of him, and thankful that he chose our school district as the basis for his project."

Written by Patricia A. Scheyer, RCN contributor

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