Students who sat uneasily on dangerous gym bleachers at South Junior High School are cheering this summer's construction project.
"We've had a couple of accidents where people have slipped under seats. There's nothing to catch them," said Tom Bracciano, the Lawrence public school district's facilities director.
The school board agreed to eliminate the liability problem by purchasing a set of automated bleachers. For $80,000, new seating will be installed and the gym's odd curved walls will be eliminated.
"Should be ready before school starts," Bracciano said.
South's project is the tip of the summer construction iceberg as the district upgrades items in three dozen school and administrative buildings. In all, $900,000 from the district's capital outlay fund will be spent on the work.
Other significant projects:
Kennedy School, 1605 Davis Road, $80,000 for new carpet throughout the building. Another $20,000 fixes rest-room partitions and sidewalks.
Quail Run School, 1130 Inverness Drive, $70,000 in new carpet.
West Junior High School, 2700 Harvard Road, $50,000 renovation of its auditorium.
District maintenance shop, 146 Maine, $45,000 for resurfacing the parking lot.
Lawrence High School, 1901 La., $25,000 repairs to the west gym floor. Damage was caused to the gym, which doesn't have air conditioning, when people left exterior doors open during rain showers.
Bracciano said the board had set aside money to improve school security. Board members allocated $10,000 to Cordley School, 1837 Vt., and to South for security cameras.
The principal's office at Sunset Hill School, 901 Schwarz Road, will undergo a $25,000 renovation to enhance safety. Office sight lines at Central Junior High School, 1400 Mass., will be improved as part of a $20,000 project.