PITTSBURG — Many projects at USD 250 are underway and are nearing completion.
The construction is the result of a $31 million bond election approved by voters March 2017. The bond has provided additions to be made at all of USD 250 schools.
USD 250 Superintendent Rich Proffitt said what prompted the need for the projects are the elementary school storm shelters, the district has seen an increase ub students and some of the older facilities needed a “facelift.”
George Nettels and Westside Elementaries should be complete by Friday.
At Meadowlark Elementary people are already constructing the new furniture and with a few more things to cross off the “architectural” list, the building will be complete by Aug. 10.
From the outside of Lakeside Elementary, passers-by can see the cement precast in place. The structure is the new cafeteria which will serve as a safe room in the event of inclement weather. Soon there will be a second structure for the kitchen.
The construction workers will begin to pour more concrete at Lakeside, which will happen in the early hours of the morning at approximately 2 a.m. The district said they will give a notice as to exactly when this will be happening to residents in the surrounding area.
The purpose of doing the concrete pour so early is to give it time to dry so the workers can move on with the project later in the day, a Crossland Construction representative said during the USD 250 Board meeting Monday.
Lakeside’s completion date is right before Christmas.
Pittsburg Community Middle School’s new gym will soon go on hold as the construction groups tend to the other district projects and more precast materials come in September. The project will still be on schedule to be complete on April 29, 2019. The new gym will also serve as a storm shelter.
In April at Pittsburg High School, the amphithere on the west side of the building was removed. This is where the new kitchen and cafeteria will be built, however this project is of a different phase and will not be complete before school begins.
Renovations on a special education room, vocal room and science rooms are near completion.
What was once an autotech classroom is now multiple rooms for people with various special needs. This includes “safe rooms,” which are padded to keep the students safe and a sensory room for students with autism.
The science labs will be near completion when school begins. The only thing which will be missing are the tops of the lab tables. Students should be able to begin lab work around three weeks after school starts.
The high school’s new entry, band room, kitchen/cafeteria completion dates are set for December.
Students will continue to enter through the 600 hall during the fall semester until the new entry is complete.
According to the district, the projects are coming in under the budget, however it is still fluid as the construction continues.
Proffitt said the project is exciting and is progressing as expected.
“The construction process is always a little bit of a tenuous process, but Crossland has done a great job making sure we are staying on track on our timeline,” he said. “Safety is always a major concern not only for workers but students and staff who will be around it.”
The most important thing in the world, Proffitt said, is educating students.
“Part of that is to have an adequate safe environment for them to learn in,” he said. “We can educate them to the best of our ability, that is a very exciting thing.”
Crossland Construction Site Superintendent Jared McConnaughey said the weather has cooperated with them, aside from a few storms here in there.
He said there are always a few challenges and hurdles to get over during project.
For example, when remodeling the science labs they found underground conduits, “they were a big hurdle to get through,” McConnaughey said. The conduit issue is resolved.
McConnaughey is also a local resident and PHS alumni, who also has the honor of working on the high school project.
“It means a lot to me to see the school grow,” he said.
— Stephanie Potter is a staff writer at the Morning Sun. She can be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her on Twitter @PittStephP and Instagram @stephanie_morningsun.