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School renovations on track for fall completion

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By Ben Hyatt

 

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Contractors and school officials say school projects are still on schedule despite early unforeseen problems.

According to Harrison County Assistant Superintendent David Case, a tentative date for the high school renovation completion is sometime late September.

“Anytime you tear into a building that has not been renovated in some parts since the 60’s you have to expect some unforeseen issues,” said Case. “Despite those issues though, we are actually a little ahead of schedule due to the extremely hard working contractor that we have.”

Tim Basham, site manager for Marrillia Design and Construction explained that the project is really starting to take form now that most of the preliminary construction is complete.

“Now that we have most of the wiring, plumbing and new heating and cooling ready, the whole project is changing and taking shape more and more everyday,” said Basham. “In just two weeks the entire place will look different.”

Case and Basham explained that the bulk of the attention is now being placed on the section of the school that will house the FFA classrooms, agriculture shops, new entrance, bandroom and bathrooms.

“That whole area is basically being redone and rightfully so,” said Case. “We have the space, but now we are trying to better utilize it as well as make the school flow better.”

Case explained that a major emphasis has been put into making the school more handicap accessible for students and visitors of the school.

“When the school was built it was done in a time when emphasis was not put into handicap accessibility,” said Case. “With the new entrance into the gym/band foyer, students and visitors will have a much easier time entering the school for events and games.”

Case also pointed out that a lot of time was placed into the remodeling of the agriculture shop and Project Lead the Way classrooms.

“Project Lead the Way is now located on the second floor near the science department and the general flow in the classrooms is very pleasing to the two teachers,” said Case. “As for the agriculture shop, we have added new welding stations and plenty of storage space.”

Case said the reasoning for putting so much time into the two was to ensure a brighter future for students who are looking for jobs right out of high school.

“If we can spend a little money and time to make it right so students can hone their skills needed to be competitive in the work place, then those are dollars well spent,” said Case.

As for the new fieldhouse, which will be located near the new Athletic Complex, a tentative date of completion is February 2014.

 “The budget still looks strong and we very confident,” said Case. “We have enjoyed and are very lucky to work with Marrillia Design and Construction again. After seeing their work on the middle school, we were very pleased to see them have the winning bid for this project.”