Madison Elementary ready to flaunt repairs

School to host open house Tuesday, about 2 months after students moved back in

lpemberton@theolympian.comMarch 10, 2014 

The scaffolding is gone, repairs are complete and students have moved back into Madison Elementary School in Olympia.

Now it’s time to celebrate.

Parents and staff at the school have organized a community open house from 6:30-7:30 p.m. Tuesday. The event, which will include information about the school’s programs, tours and a chance to mingle with staff, is open to the public.

“We’ve had lots of questions about our facility because we were out of the building for several months,” Principal Domenico Spatola-Knoll said. “We’ve worked hard in cleaning up and getting everything ready for kids, and the building is looking really nice.”

Madison reopened in January after being shut down for almost six months while crews repaired moisture damage in the building’s stucco exterior.

Total construction cost is about $3 million, according to Rebecca Japhet, a spokeswoman for the Olympia School District.

The emergency repairs were paid for with the district’s unrestricted capital funds, but officials plan to recoup that money.

“Our attorney is still working through the details of the multiple insurance policies,” Japhet said. “Because the time frame spans many years, and because many companies worked on building the school, there are multiple insurers and policies involved.”

It could take a year or longer to reclaim the reimbursement, she added.

According to Olympian archives, Madison Elementary School was built in 1999 for $5.8 million. It was scheduled for a new paint job last summer, but during preliminary work crews noticed some cracking in the school’s exterior.

In September, the school’s fourth- and fifth-graders were moved to Roosevelt Elementary School, and its K-3 students met at New Bridge Community Church, which was the original Madison school. Its preschool program was held at the Olympia Regional Learning Academy.

By January, all of the students were back at Madison, but repairs continued on its play shed.

As of last week, everything except a few punch list items such as touch-up paint was finished, Japhet said. Madison’s Y-Care after-school program recently returned, too.

Spatola-Knoll said he hopes the community open house will be informational for Madison families, prospective parents and people who live in the neighborhood.

“It’s just to show who we are, the kinds of things we do (and) show off our facility,” he said. “It’s good to be back.”

If you go

What: Community open house, featuring tours and information about Madison Elementary School’s programs and recent repairs.

When: 6:30-7:30 p.m. Tuesday

Where: Madison Elementary School, 1225 Legion Way SE, Olympia.

Contact: 360-596-6300.

Lisa Pemberton: 360-754-5433 lpemberton@theolympian.com @Lisa_Pemberton

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