Archive for Wednesday, April 12, 2006

School work moving ahead

April 12, 2006

Construction of the new middle school and additions to the high school continues to move on schedule, project manager Kris Roberts told school board members Monday.

Roberts said the project was ahead in some areas, and behind in others, but assured the school board that the project was moving ahead.

"The best news at the middle school is that the roof is on and the building is drying out," said Roberts, who works for Turner Construction, the firm that's in charge of the construction.

In addition, construction of the water tower at the middle school has started. Phoenix Fabricators, a company, from Avon, Ind., is building the water tower, at a cost of nearly of nearly $409,000. The school district will pay for $150,000, while the city will pay the rest.

The water tower should be completed by August, Roberts said. At that time, she said,

the city plans to run the tower at 75 percent capacity.

Also at the middle school, Roberts said bids soon would be taken for furniture for the new middle school, which will hold fifth through eighth grades.

Regarding a playground, Turner is working on a recess area with fencing, sidewalks and a hard-play area with an asphalt surface.

Roberts said that project likely would cost between $100,000 and $110,000.

Board president Leanna Leslie asked whether a softer surface would be a better option. Although it might be more expensive, Leslie said it could require less maintenance in the long run.

Board member Bob DeHoff said the softer surface would be safer than asphalt.

"It's not anything you would play high school games on, but for grade school kids playing pick-up games, I think it would be fine," Leslie said.

The board will discuss the issue again at its next meeting May 8.

At the high school, construction continues to progress also. The new north wall of the gymnasium, as well as the wall of the new main entrance, adjacent to the gymnasium to the west, have taken shape. Roberts said workers now want to get "as much block up in the locker rooms and band room." Those areas are being built west of the gymnasium.

On the elementary school campus, discussion shifted to future renovations at the Quonset hut. Last year, a portion of the hut was remodeled into classrooms. Roberts told the board remaining space could be transformed into four more classrooms.

She said the remodeling should cost about $60,000.

Board members discussed another modular unit, but member Ron Moore favored the remodeling.

"We don't want anymore modulars for sure," Moore said.

Students are expected to move into the middle school in January. Currently, seventh- eighth- and ninth-grade students attend classes in the junior high. In January, the junior high, which is east of the high school, will become part of the high school campus, as ninth-graders will attend classes with tenth-, eleventh- and twelfth-graders.

Construction is being funded by a $25.3 million bond issue voters passed in November 2004. Renovations to the elementary school will be done next summer.

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