Soda Creek on the move

Massive relocation of materials to school's temporary facility under way

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Blayne Conroy, 14, with Blayne Moving and Storage, moves a chair from a classroom at Soda Creek Elementary School on Monday into a semi trailer that will be used to temporarily store things salvaged from the school. The school is set to be demolished in July to make room for a new school.

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Soda Creek Elementary School principal Judy Harris packs boxes Monday in her office. A massive project to relocate things out of the school and to the temporary facility is under way, and hundreds of materials, such as desks and light fixtures, will be for sale from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at Soda Creek.

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Soda Creek Elementary School principal Judy Harris works on clearing out the main office of the school.

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An artist rendering of the new Soda Creek Elementary School sits in the main office at the school on Monday amid moving boxes, American flags and packing tape.

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School supplies sit in a box in the main office at Soda Creek Elementary School.

— Boxes were piled shoulder-high along the hallways of Soda Creek Elementary School on Monday morning as movers continued the transition to the school's temporary facility.

A new Soda Creek will begin to rise from the ground later this summer, but Principal Judy Harris has more pressing concerns, such as the logistics of moving approximately 31,680 square feet of school materials.

"The idea was to try to balance all our responsibilities to the children while readying ourselves to move and get the building down," she said. "Our plan was to have everything moved as soon as possible so we can start demolition and get the new facility started to keep the building costs down."

The district is constructing a temporary school facility, made up of 15 mobile classrooms, in the field adjacent to the George P. Sauer Human Services Center at Seventh and Pine streets.

Harris and her office staff will occupy a small space in the HSC, but her office remained a mess of office supplies, boxes and computers Monday - filling every inch of floor space.

"The teachers were able to pack up Friday, but we had to stay in business," said secretary Tammy Farrell. "But we'll be in our new space today I hope. I had to tell my husband to call my cell because we've already packed the phones."

Charlie Conroy, of Conroy Moving and Storage, said he expects 11 trailers to be filled by Wednesday. Chairs, books, lunchroom tables, desks, media materials and physical education equipment all must go.

"The people in the school have done a fantastic job before we ever got here," said Conroy, whose company was contracted by the Steamboat Springs School District to handle the move.

"The hard part isn't the actual moving, but the logistics of if it all. In four days, we'll have it all moved out."

Harris said most of the materials will be stored in the trailers until the temporary school is established, while seasonal materials will be shipped to a storage facility, to be accessed when needed. Other materials will be stored until the new Soda Creek is completed.

The essentials will be moved, but hundreds of excess school materials, such as desks, light fixtures and even the gym floor, will be for sale from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at Soda Creek.

"Whatever the district doesn't want will be tagged for sale - just like a yard sale where people bring stuff to the curb in Old Town Steamboat," said Todd Ficken, the school district's owner's representative for the major school construction project. "We call these sales FFE sales, for 'furniture, fixtures and equipment.'"

Ficken said anything bolted down would have to be taken apart by the buyer, which he warned may not come up easy in the 51-year-old building that is set to be demolished in July.

Harris said all proceeds of the sale would be given to the school district.

Ficken said residents should expect some of the mobile classrooms to start arriving next week.

"There's a strategic sequence here because we've got to move the ones closest to the buildings first and get them set up before we bring in the others," Ficken said. "One day people will wake up and say, 'Oh, there's one more.' Sometime in August they'll wake up and see a temporary school."

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