Archive for Wednesday, January 18, 2006

School construction progressing

Pace of $25.3 million project fueled by good weather, contractor says

January 18, 2006

Tonganoxie's $25.3 million construction project is well under way.

Though the construction is planned for the three school campuses, the most visible work right now is at the new middle school near Washington and Pleasant streets.

Here's a breakdown of Tonganoxie's $25.3 million school construction project approved by voters in November 2004.

¢ Middle school, $11.5 million.

¢ High school, $12.5 million.

¢ Elementary school, $1.3 million.

-- Source, Kris Roberts, construction manager for Turner Construction

That's where the 96,000-square-foot school for fifth- through eighth-graders is under construction on an 80-acre site the district owns.

Kris Roberts, construction manager for Turner Construction, said Friday that workers are 60 percent finished with the structural steel and have completed about half of the load-bearing masonry walls at the middle school.

"So what we're working on is steel and masonry and getting ready for exterior wall framing and then roofing," Roberts said. "Obviously, we're also doing plumbing rough-in and electrical rough-in."

Within the next couple of weeks, workers will begin applying a brick veneer to exterior walls, Roberts said.

Weather has been conducive for the construction, Roberts said.

"Next week's forecast isn't that bad either, so we feel pretty lucky," she said.

And, roadwork is going well at the site. At the east edge of the school's property, workers are building a road from Washington Street to about halfway to 12th Street.

This is the only portion of East Street that the school is building now, Roberts said. So far, one layer of asphalt had been put down, and two more layers would be installed.

Weather may have cooperated at the middle school, where construction began early in the fall. But at the high school, December snows hampered preliminary work.

"When it's wet and it's muddy and you're trying to work the dirt, it's tough," Roberts said.

The existing junior high and high school buildings will be converted into a four-year high school. The work includes enlargement of the existing gymnasium and construction of a new fine arts auditorium.

As of Friday, the pad at the high school was nearly complete. And this week, workers will be working on footings and foundations.

Work at the high school will begin at the east side of the existing high school building, Roberts said.

In March, workers will begin the addition to the north side of the gymnasium. Roberts said the gym's existing north wall won't be taken down until summer, after exterior walls and the roof are in place.

New construction at the high school campus will total about 65,000 square feet, Roberts said. This includes the wrestling room that will be on the second floor of the remodeled and enlarged gymnasium.

Roberts said construction of the middle school and high school should be completed by December, about half a year earlier than originally predicted.

And renovation work at the elementary school, which should be completed during the summer of 2007, will:

  • Convert the school into a kindergarten through fourth-grade facility.
  • Transform an existing classroom into kitchen space to enlarge the food preparation area.
  • Remodel and enlarge the office space for clerks, administrators and nurse.
  • Move classes currently held in outside buildings into the main building.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.