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School Board tours aging Marysville Middle School

Marysville School District Library and Media Specialist Terry Snodgrass, left, shows MSD Board Director Michael Kundu the outdated original electrical systems of the Marysville Middle School facilities. - Kirk Boxleitner
Marysville School District Library and Media Specialist Terry Snodgrass, left, shows MSD Board Director Michael Kundu the outdated original electrical systems of the Marysville Middle School facilities.
— image credit: Kirk Boxleitner

MARYSVILLE — Outdated original mechanical and electrical systems, out-of-date fire exiting and Americans with Disabilities Act codes, an absence of fire sprinklers, flooded fields and an energy inefficient, 49-year-old structure were all on display at Marysville Middle School Jan. 4.

That was when the MMS facilities hosted the Marysville School District Board of Directors, who inspected the school as part of their series of tours through facilities that would be replaced by a proposed bond issue, including the Cascade and Liberty elementary school buildings.

MSD Capital Projects Director John Bingham noted that the original gym’s bleachers are almost impossible to move, while MSD Library and Media Specialist Terry Snodgrass added that the boys’ shower is no longer used and the girls’ shower amounts to a lean-to. Outdoor activity is impacted by frequently flooded fields, which Bingham explained result from a lack of storm water retention and a high water table.

Although minor upgrades have been performed in the years since the original construction, the 100 wing of the school doesn’t have running water in its even-numbered rooms, and many classrooms are forced to make do with a single electrical outlet, according to Bingham. MMS Principal Susan Hegeberg pointed out that the school’s staff has to take care to not overload their circuits, and many teachers’ rooms have insulation-free walls that “are no thicker than the windows.”

MMS staff agreed that the science classrooms have insufficient ventilation and unsteady tables, which is why the students’ computers are mounted directly above their sinks. The art classroom that the group visited had a collection of Post-It notes on the door of needed repairs.

When walking down one stretch of hallway, Bingham recalled how the center-mounted internal drainpipe on the ceiling had once necessitated a series of wastebaskets in the center of the hallway when it leaked, as well as repairs that he estimated cost $4,000. Snodgrass likewise told the crowd about how the school’s library had suffered from water entering under its walls, which had destroyed approximately $100 in books with each rainstorm until it was repaired. The library still has rotted beams.

Bingham laughed as he acknowledged a sense of “deja vu” regarding the MMS facility’s problems, which were similar to the Cascade and Liberty elementary school buildings.

The $78 million proposed bond issue would replace the current MMS facilities with a modular constructed building, similar to the Marysville Secondary Options Campus, as part of replacing or modernizing the three oldest and most obsolete schools in the district. The bond would also fund projects supporting the health, safety or infrastructure needs of all the schools in the district, as well as replace the previous technology bond, to keep classroom technology current, and perform basic upgrades to the Marysville-Pilchuck pool. The levy and bond election is set for Feb. 9.

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