Early Childhood Center
The construction work continues to make solid progress at the new Early Childhood Center located on the west side of Lincoln Elementary. The timeline continues on target to begin the 2017-2018 school year in the new facility. All the underground utilities are in and the cement floor has been poured. Interior walls are going up with sheetrock to begin soon. In addition, the brickwork is scheduled to start the week of March 27. Everything appears to be perfectly on schedule. There have been a few minor change orders but nothing major. Thus, the financial piece of the construction of the Early Childhood Center remains squarely on track.
The High School bid process was completed a few weeks ago and brought good news to the District. There were 20-plus separate bid packages that saw in excess of 80 bids from local and area firms. This resulted in competitive bids for that totaled approximately $900,000 under estimate. That, of course, is excellent news for the District. Work is scheduled to begin in early May at the High School. The science wing remodel will begin then and take place through August with the hopes of being complete by September 1. Other work at the High School—HVAC, roofing, auditorium, main security entrance and District office, DCD remodel, locker rooms, bleachers, multipurpose room—will all kickoff in earnest on May 30. Although the majority of the work will be completed in June, July, and August, we know that not all of it will be finished by September 1. Plans to coordinate the remaining work and the start of the 2017-2018 will be developed this spring and summer.
The Lindbergh Elementary bid process was completed and approved by the Board of Education on March 20. Once again, the District enjoyed the benefits of a highly competitive bid process, resulting in bids that came in at approximately $1 million under estimate. This amount didn’t include everything (for example, ADA door hardware will be bid out later on) but still the dollar amount under budget is great news. The timeline for work at Lindbergh is still being developed but work at Lindbergh will be extensive over the summer months. It will include construction and remodeling in the following areas: HVAC, roof, designated cafeteria, main security entrance and office, parking lot, extended pickup/dropoff entrance on 9th Street Southeast, 1950s wing classrooms, and enclosing classrooms around the Flight Deck. Many of the classrooms have to be completely packed up and the contents stored. Every day matters with a project this large and most of it needing to be completed in three months.
Parking and Dropoff/Pickup
Both the High School and Lindbergh will see a revamping of parking and student dropoff/pickup processes. The changes will be made first and foremost for safety and security purposes. Here’s a brief synopsis of what is being planned:
The upper parking lot at Lindbergh (shared with the Middle School) proves to be a highly congested area during the start and the end of the school day. Beginning with the next school year, parents dropping off and picking up students before and after school will occur at the lower entrance to Lindbergh on 9th Street Southeast. The dropoff/pickup area will be extended to the south along 9th Street Southeast that will enable a smoother process before and after school. Buses and vans will all dropoff and pickup students on the upper level only. Again, we are stressing the safety and security features that this change will have for our students, families, and staff.
High School Student Parking
Beginning with the start of the 2017-2018 school year, right turns onto 9th Street Southeast from the student parking will not be allowed at the end of the school day (3:00-3:30). Again, this is a safety precaution as the pickup/dropoff zone at Lindbergh Elementary is moving to the 9th Street Southeast school entrance. Therefore, limiting the cars driving north on 9th Street Southeast at the end of the school day will decrease congestion in front of Lindbergh Elementary and increase safety for students and adults.
High School Entrance
The student parking lot will become the only entrance to the High School for students and adults once the school day begins. Short-time parking slots will be added to the student parking lot. Once the construction is completed, visitors to the school will check-in via the secure entrance that will be constructed adjacent to the student parking lot. The Activities Department, Community Recreation, and the Superintendent’s office will be located there. Meanwhile, visitors to the Business Office and Human Resources will use the “front” entrance (commonly referred to as “Circle Drive”) to enter. However, visitors will not have access to the main High School building through the front entrance; they will only have access to the Business Office and Human Resources.
The District will devote time this summer to advertise the new parking and dropoff/pickup process. We ask that our district residents and stakeholders understand the safety and security rationale behind these changes. We understand that this is a deviation from the way it’s been done for years but the changes are being done with the best safety and security interests in mind.
Middle School Roof
Work began on the roof at the Middle School in early March. This project was bid out last fall so the roofers were waiting for good weather to begin. They have had two solid weeks of decent weather to get an early jump on the work. Bleacher replacement at the Middle School is slated to begin on May 8 and needs to be completed in three weeks.
Summer Activities Adjusted
Summer programming that usually takes place at the High School, Lindbergh, and the Belle Prairie Complex (except for weightlifting and conditioning at the High School) has been relocated for this summer. Please contact Community Services or the offices at the High School/Lindbergh with questions you may have.
The security and office reconstruction will take place at Lincoln Elementary this summer. Plans are in the works and will be finalized soon.
In looking ahead to the construction work for the summer of 2018, Dr. Knight Elementary and the Middle School will be the focus. Architects and engineers are currently beginning the planning to determine the scope of the various projects. As plans evolve and cost estimates are created, construction companies can anticipate the bidding process for these jobs to occur in January-February 2018.
Belle Prairie Complex
Now that spring has officially sprung, work will ensue at the Belle Prairie Complex within the next week or two. Dirt work will begin first followed by the installation of irrigation. In addition, work on storm drains and the parking lot will begin. Throughout the spring and early summer, signs of the transformation of Belle Prairie into a soccer and baseball complex will be quite visible.
Please do not hesitate to contact me with questions and concerns. I can be reached by phone at (320) 632-2001 or e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.