$43M Bellevue middle school still unfinished two months after start of school

Nearly two months after the start of school, the new Odle Middle School campus remains unfinished.

Nearly two months after children started school, the new Odle Middle School campus reportedly remains unfinished, with holes in walls and missing ceiling tiles throughout the campus.

The new Odle Middle School building opened to students on the first day of school Sept. 1. The two-year construction project cost $43 million.

However, a couple dozen projects around the school remain uncompleted, according to an Odle teacher. In the school’s entryway, orange cones mark off a ledge where a railing is missing. Around the school, interior windows and ceiling tiles are missing, and electrical wires are visible in a hole in a wall behind the sink in a staff bathroom.

“Odle Middle school is a brand new building and it’s still not finished. Holes in walls, bathrooms in shambles, broken windows, etc. … All paid for by tax money,” said the teacher, who wished to remain anonymous.

For the first eight or nine weeks of school, the keycard reader to one back door did not work, so the door was left propped open, he said. A doorway in the library has hinges installed, but no door.

He hasn’t seen any construction workers in at least a month, the teacher added.

Contractors are working on the outstanding list of projects, according to district director of facilities and operations Jack McLeod. In the staff bathroom, for example, sub-contractors are working on the electrical outlet currently being added, while drywall and ceramic tile workers are completing the task.

“The contractors are working swing shifts in the late afternoon and evenings as well as on weekends to get their work completed without impacting the students and staff during the regular school day,” he said. “Every project runs on for a few months getting [project lists] completed.”

Calls to the project manager at Integrus Architecture went unanswered.

The city granted the Bellevue School District a temporary certificate of occupancy allowing students, staff and community to use the building, likely in mid-August, McLeod said. The temporary certificate expires on Nov. 23, and the school will only receive a final certificate of occupance when all of the projects are completed.

The district is waiting on the delivery of acoustic panels for the gym and other common spaces on Nov. 18, he added, and the district can extend the temporary occupancy order if need be. McLeod did not say when the other projects around the school would be completed or when the school was originally scheduled to be completed.