Bowman School gym, classrooms closer to completion

PG&E’s priorities on Santa Rosa fires slowed project
By: Gus Thomson, Reporter/Columnist
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Bowman Charter School’s $8.2 million gym and classroom construction project is moving ahead on interior work.
Principal Kelly Graham said that the major portion of the Bowman Road school’s gym and classrooms have been built out.
“Now we’re into the details with specialty trades,” Graham said. “We’re moving along, getting closer every day.”
While the single-school Ackerman Charter District is hoping to have its Bowman School multipurpose building open by late winter, that may have to be put back because of delays in bringing electricity online.
“PG&E has had their hands full trying to rebuild Santa Rosa after the fires,” Graham said. “As a result, we’ve had some starts and stops. We’re hoping to get power to the building soon.”
Plans are already being made for an opening ceremony the public will be invited to and a first basketball game on the high-school-size court. While the basketball season will be completed, an intramural game will be organized to give departing eighth grade basketball players a chance to have at least one game on the new court, Graham said.
Because of the shifting schedule, however, no firm date has been set yet for a ribbon cutting or inaugural game, he said.
The new gym promises bleachers for spectators and a spacious floor area. Classes on the ground floor of the two-story building will be used for choral and band. This past week, acoustic ceiling tiles were being installed in the classrooms. On the top floor, the hardwood is expected to be installed in early March.
To be left unfinished on the first floor is a space that will eventually contain boys and girls locker rooms and coaches’ offices. That work will be done when funding becomes available, Graham said.
The project started last spring. Work to double the number of parking spaces and improve traffic circulation was completed last summer. 
Bowman School, with 605 students and what Graham described as a healthy waiting list, is Auburn’s oldest, opened in 1895.