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Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Construction Update - February 23, 2016

Posted by Wayne Anderson in General  |  Post a comment

The snow is quickly melting from the ground, the days are getting longer and the new elementary school is making more and more progress every day. As I mentioned in my last update, I hope that you are going online to view the building progress of our elementary school. If you haven’t I strongly urge you to go to www.williamsbayschools.org and scroll to the bottom of the home page. Each week, I add new photos that show the progress of the building construction.

At this point, the outside walls and roof are on about 80% of the building. The only area that is not enclosed is the lunchroom/commons area. As you walk around the exterior of the building, you will notice that brick is the primary exterior building material; however, stone is place underneath the classroom windows. This allows the outside of the new elementary school to look very similar to the current Middle/Senior High School, yet the addition of stone underneath the windows provides a sense of individuality so that the schools are similar, but not exact in their outside appearance.

The inside of the building is also taking shape. As you walk through the interior of the building, you will notice that the steel wall partitions are up, so that the outline of each classroom can be clearly identified. These partitions allow the observer to see where the windows are in the classroom and where the doors are located. By looking at the piping that is installed, the observer can tell where the sinks and toilets are located in each classroom and where the electrical outlets are located. As I walk around the structure, the classrooms feel roomier than I had originally expected. Each of the classrooms is designed to be approximately 850 square feet in size. The classrooms all have built in cabinetry and the lower elementary classes have built in restrooms. Each classroom also has a technology wall. On this wall is our technology presentation device, whiteboards and bulletin boards. During the past week, our staff has participated in several technology presentations to help finalize the technology hardware that will be placed in each classroom. I put out a staff survey today and expect to make a final decision on this topic by the end of the week.

Our furniture bids and bidding instructions were put out to various vendors about two weeks ago. These bids are due back into my office by the end of next week. Once the bids have come in, I will review the bids with staff, administration and the Board to determine who will be awarded each of the various furniture bids. Once the bids have been awarded, the vendors will start filling their orders with a delivery date of August 1, 2016. At this time, the vendors will deliver and assemble the furniture in each of the classrooms.

This summer will be extremely busy. Currently, all of the Elementary staff are boxing up the supplies and materials that they want to bring to the new school, but are no longer using this year. They are also getting rid of unnecessary materials. Moving from the old Elementary School to the new elementary school is much moving from one home to another – you never realize how much stuff you have accumulated over the years until it is time to move it. Once school is let out for the summer, the music wing of the current Middle/High School will undergo its remodeling.   The elementary vocal music room will be created out of a space currently filled by one of the weight rooms and the physical education storage room. The current Middle/High School vocal music room will be turned into the new district band room and the current band room will become the Middle/High School vocal music room.

I am expecting that the elementary school will be completed during the month of July. Once it has been completed then the district will start moving in the furniture, equipment and materials. At this point, I am estimating that this should be completed by the third week in August. During the third week in August, staff members will be allowed to come into their new classrooms and start organizing their materials and getting them ready for the first day of school – Tuesday, September 6, 2016.

At this point, I am happy to report that the construction project is still on time and under budget. Though there are still some uncertainties that can occur before the completion of the project, the Board will be meeting in April to discuss the state of the construction budget and how they would like to handle any surplus dollars. One idea that has been constantly discussed at every stage of the process is to be able to give money back to the public. As financial stewards, the Board has done a good job of staying on top of the expenses related to building and equipping our new school. They are determined to build a school that reflects the community’s values and support of education; yet they want to achieve the greatest value for each dollar spent. I think you will find they have done a great job of fulfilling these roles.

As the weeks continue to go by, I will continue to put new photographs of the construction on the website each week. It is my hope to give our staff members a tour of the new building in March, so that they can experience first-hand the size and layout of the building. I am also excited that in seven shorts months, I will be able to open up the building to each of you so that you can see the final results of everyone’s efforts.

Remember if you ever have any questions about this project or any school-related topic feel free to contact me at (262) 245-1575 or wanderson@williambayschools.org.


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