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Kalama Elementary School Frequently Asked Questions

If you have more questions, please reach out to Eric Nerison, Kalama's School Superintendent. (360) 673-5282 eric.nerison@kalama.k12.wa.us


Your Project Team

Architect - BLRB Architects P.S.
Greg McCracken, Principal-in-Charge
Jonah Jensen, Project Manager (503) 595-0270 jjensen@blrb.com

General Contractor - Emerick
Ted Jeffery, Project Manager (503) 302-3123 tedj@emerick.com

David Haggard, Superintendent (503) 679-6593 davidh@emerick.com
Jobsite Hours - 7:00am to 5:00pm Monday – Saturday

Kalama School District
Eric Nerison, Superintendent (360) 673-5282  eric.nerison@kalama.k12.wa.us

Project Management - ESD 112
Keith Bloom, Senior Project Manager
Laura Pedersen, Project Manager (360) 952-3467 laura.pedersen@esd112.org


Construction Costs

Why are construction costs so high? Construction costs throughout Western Washington, and specifically Southwestern Washington, have been escalating over the last two years at historically unprecedented high rates.  These construction cost escalations have been well documented in the Daily Journal of Commerce, Seattle Times and Portland Tribune.



Kalama School Budget

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Is the school project over budget and what is being done to mitigate this concern?

  1. The project is NOT over budget.

  2. In February 2019, the project underwent an extensive and thoughtful budget reconciliation and Value Analysis/Value Engineering (VE) process to address construction cost increases and align budgets.

  3. Currently, the project is within the project contingency budget because of the on going VE. 

  4. Currently, the design and construction team are finalizing construction documents of the Elementary School for final bidding and estimating. 

  5. $XX  Elementary School Budget


Overall Project Impact

How did the budget reconciliation impact the projects?
Budget reconciliation process encompassed a broad range of items which did not impact scope or program to align budgets, including:

  • Cost Estimate refinement by Contractor and Design Team

  • Increased Maximum Allowable Construction Cost through contingencies and refined budget analysis

  • Construction Methodology 

  • Construction Scheduling and Phasing

Primary Budget reconciliation items for the New Elementary School are as follows:

  • Off-site scope reductions

  • Baseball Field Relocation

  • Exterior Finishes refinement

  • Interior Casework Reductions

  • Design Refinements

  • Metal Roof replacement with membrane roof

  • Displacement Ventilation in lieu of Mechanical Cooling


District Cooling

Why was cooling eliminated from the projects? 
Cooling was NOT eliminated from the existing High School building or the Middle School Addition.

Both the existing High School building and Middle School Addition will be provided with mechanical cooling.

The New Elementary School will utilize a Displacement Ventilation System in lieu of mechanical cooling system to reduce both initial capital costs and long-term operational costs. The building has been designed to support appropriate school environments and include the following passive cooling features:

  • Superior thermal envelope (roofs & walls)

  • Building orientation to reduce solar gain and glare

  • High performance Low-E glazing 

  • Sunshades at south facing windows

  • Operable windows at most classrooms