Flathead High construction nearly complete

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  • An exterior view of new construction along Fifth Avenue West at Flathead High School on Wednesday, July 10. Staff anticipate the school will be ready to begin moving in Aug. 15. (Hilary Matheson photos/Daily Inter Lake)

  • 1

    Crews install tiling on Wednesday, July 10, in a section of Flathead High School where existing construction ties into new.

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    A photo of a plaque that hangs in Flathead High School’s new gym that memorializes the old gym it replaced, which was constructed in the late ’20s and demolished in 2018. The plaque was created using flooring preserved from the center court of the old gym. High school welding students made the metalwork.

  • An exterior view of new construction along Fifth Avenue West at Flathead High School on Wednesday, July 10. Staff anticipate the school will be ready to begin moving in Aug. 15. (Hilary Matheson photos/Daily Inter Lake)

  • 1

    Crews install tiling on Wednesday, July 10, in a section of Flathead High School where existing construction ties into new.

  • 2

    A photo of a plaque that hangs in Flathead High School’s new gym that memorializes the old gym it replaced, which was constructed in the late ’20s and demolished in 2018. The plaque was created using flooring preserved from the center court of the old gym. High school welding students made the metalwork.

Flathead High School’s expansion project is about 95 percent complete, according to Stan DeBlauw, site superintendent with Swank Enterprises.

In the coming weeks crews are completing tiling, flooring (including staining of the gym floor) and painting on the approximately $19 million project.

Flathead High School Principal Michele Paine anticipates the building will be ready for staff to start moving in on Aug. 15.

“We have a lot of moving to do,” Paine said noting that classroom materials and furniture are currently stored in multiple areas on and off campus. “It all has to come back and get into the correct classroom before school starts,” she said.

With roughly 18 months of construction, accommodations were made by students and staff that included teachers sharing classrooms and relocating as construction progressed. Four teachers moved into new classrooms in April as renovations started in the rooms they were in. Paine said the process has involved a lot of logistics, but overall, it’s been a smooth process.

New construction encompasses 47,997 square feet and includes 17 classrooms, locker rooms, breakout spaces, conference rooms, gym and boiler room. About 27,500 square feet of the building was demolished that housed 10 classrooms, staff lounge and large lecture room, some custodial work areas and the small gym.

The construction project comes out of a $28.8 million high school district bond issue that also includes the H.E. Robinson Vocational Agriculture Center, Linderman Education Center, Legends Stadium and Glacier High School.

Reporter Hilary Matheson may be reached at 758-4431 or hmatheson@dailyinterlake.com.

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