Photo by Joe Chitwood
New gym and west entrance
Photo by George Lauby
Under construction, early this year.
The $9.2 million school expansion and renovation project in Maxwell is on schedule and under budget, school board vice president Jason Sommer said July 17.The outside of the new gym and office is basically finished, with only some gutters to be added and some auxiliary concrete poured, Sommer said.
Anywhere from 40-50 workers are on the job each day. The new administration office on the east end of the school is finished, inside and out.
The first day of school is Sept. 5, two weeks later than normal, School Superintendent Todd Rhodes said.
“But that is not news to our community. Our folks know we are starting a little bit late and that moves graduation back to the last Saturday in May,” he said.
There is still much work to be done inside. Sommer said if people were to take a look at the inside they would probably say “how in the world are they going to get that done in a month,” but he is confident they will have it ready to go when school starts.
Although the finishing interior touches will not be complete until October, the school will be up and running.
“The students will have a school to come back to on opening day,” Sommer said. “It will be no different than what they put up with last spring, with noise and construction.”
Along with the new gym, wrestling deck and office, a new kitchen, commons area and chemistry and biology labs were added.
Also, the project updates LED lighting in every room, with new efficient heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems, renovation of two locker rooms and a new sewer system.
Originally, they planned to pave just part of the school parking area, but have realized enough savings to pave the whole area, Sommer said.
Paulson is the general contractor and Rhodes said the school is “very pleased with our working relationship with them.”
“We had a few little disagreements, but all in all they have been easy to work with,” Rhodes said.
The bond was a hot topic in the election and narrowly passed by eight votes in May. Landowners said the cost is burdensome and unfair.
Although the project was controversial, Sommer said there have been a “lot of positive words going around.”
“I am sure that there are still those that are disgusted with it or are still not for it, but it is good for our community,” he said. “We didn’t have many of them say we didn’t need it,” Rhodes said. “They said they understood the need.”
Rhodes said the project took “lots of money,” but believes the village is “really getting the best bang for their buck.”
“It’s completing the Maxwell facilities,” he said. “It’s not all about new, but also the renovation that is going on throughout the old building is phenomenal.”
Sommer said it will pay back dividends over many years.
(This report was first published in the Bulletin's July 19 print edition. Reprinted by request.)