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Majority of construction should be complete by school's start

August 24, 2011 - The school construction projects are still ongoing, but by all indication the majority of the work should be complete by the time school resumes Sept. 6.

According to Granger Construction Senior Project Manager Ben Schneider, all of the construction projects, except for the building renovations at Clear Lake Elementary and Oxford Elementary Schools, should be complete by Labor Day weekend and be out of the way when students return to school on Tuesday, September 6.

"The two classroom additions, one at Clear Lake and the one at OES, are going to finish sometime in November," Schneider said. "They were always planned to finish (on a ) November, December timeline, but we are thinking we are going to be a little bit ahead of that as they are moving along pretty good."

Schneider said it was mostly "cosmetic things and minor finish items" that would need to be completed when school started in the fall.

However, he noted the ongoing projects would not impede classroom instruction.

"The classrooms are going to be finished. They are going to have new ventilators in the room for heating and cooling...the ceiling, the lighting, the flooring, life safety systems, anything they need in the new spaces in order to conduct education will be up and running," Schneider said.

When asked about the safe and secure entrances, Schneider said they were still coming together and it was "going to get intense now right up until Labor Day weekend."

Schneider also pointed out the masonry work at the buildings has begun to wrap up and move off-site because "that is where a lot of the mess and debris and things like that come."

"If you have been out to OES or Clear Lake, you can see all the exterior brick work is now complete and those guys are off-site," he said. "We will begin to compartmentalize our construction so it can just be the internal of the additions so we can really limit the exposure."

Schneider said even though it didn't look like a lot of work was getting done early in the summer, the last couple of weeks have been a flurry of activity, which was part of the schedule.

"It was a very aggressive schedule and very intense, particularly at the three elementaries where the work was most intense, Lakeville, Clear Lake and OES," Schneider said. "Those had very heavy renovation inside and those spaces have seen a tremendous uplift in some of the ways the safe and secure entries work and front offices."

According to Schneider, Dr. Skilling asked him what would be the best way to phase out the project and if they could get as much done in the summer as possible.

Schneider said they could do it, and construction began the week the students left for summer break.

"It's one of those things where a lot of times you don't take on this much all in one summer, but we have plenty of supervision spread out across the district," Schneider said. "We have a full staff - a full time project manager, two superintendents, a project engineer and an intern on site every day."

"We staffed the projects adequately and we are averaging around $3.5 to $4 million worth of work in place each month," he added.

Schneider noted he has already received a lot of positive feedback from teachers and principals about the completed work.

"They are all so happy the way their space has changed, mostly for the betterment of the kids in the school," he said.

Andrew Moser is a staff writer for the Oxford Leader.
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