Lawrence students and teachers have abandoned school halls and classrooms for the summer break, but painters, woodworkers and carpet-layers can be found in their place.
Maintenance workers have been busy since early June in their annual summer ritual cleaning and repairing school buildings so they'll be in tip-top shape when students return in the fall.
Every school will receive attention, but three elementary schools Cordley, Pinckney and Woodlawn are getting special treatment this summer.
Those schools are some of the oldest in the district, having all been built before 1950, so the Lawrence school board approved in January a capital outlay of $100,000 to give the schools a "facelift." The money is going toward recarpeting classrooms, refinishing the woodwork and repainting the walls at the three schools.
ED MUMFORD, district maintenance supervisor, said additional electrical outlets also would be installed at those schools, primarily to allow students and teachers greater use of computers. In addition, Cordley will acquire six window air conditioning units and ceiling fans, Woodlawn will get some tackboard walls to allow easier posting of student work, and Pinckney will get lower ceilings for aesthetic and acoustic purposes.
Kenneth Fisher, assistant superintendent for business and facilities, said similar facelifts were given last year to East Heights, New York and Riverside schools, which also are among the oldest in the district. He said paint crews consisting of Lawrence schoolteachers and Kansas University students have helped the district both this year and last year.
"That's a lot more economical than getting professional people to do it," he said.
FISHER SAID general cleaning and repair work is about all that's being done at the other school buildings. However, there are a few other special summer projects.
Central Junior High School is another of the oldest buildings in the district, having opened in 1923. Hence, next year's $100,000 outlay for special improvements will go to Central, but some work at the school will be done this summer.
Fisher said ceiling fans are being added to classrooms in the top two floors of the building, which for the most part is not air-conditioned. Also, the school will get replacements for its six electric water coolers, which Fisher said are so old that they're constantly breaking down.
In August, the deck and dressing room floors at Lawrence High School's Carl Knox Natatorium will undergo extensive improvements. Administrators say the floors have always been slick, so they have decided that all floor areas in the natatorium should be covered with a non-slip surface.
THE SCHOOL board will vote today on bids for the work. Because the pool is used by more than just students, the City of Lawrence has agreed to pay half the cost of the renovation.
In other improvements, South Junior High School is in the process of getting a new carpet for its library. Grant and Wakarusa Valley schools will get some new carpeting as well.