Archive for Tuesday, October 9, 2007

South Junior High construction work pushed back more than a month

Cinder blocks from the former South Junior High School are piled along the outskirts of the site as the removal process of the old building continues.

Cinder blocks from the former South Junior High School are piled along the outskirts of the site as the removal process of the old building continues.

October 9, 2007


South Junior High construction still not complete

As the deadline comes and goes, students at one Lawrence junior high continue to work side-by-side with construction crews. Enlarge video

The work still is not over at South Junior High School.

Because of 45 days of weather delays, the new completion date has been moved back from Oct. 1 to Nov. 16. On that day, school officials say, everything inside and outside should be finished, even demolition of the old South building.

"After today, what we're lacking in completing the facility is the main and auxiliary gymnasiums, and there's a couple classrooms down there and locker rooms, and then the parking lot," said Tom Bracciano, the school district's division director for facilities and operations. ": We would like to have some dry weather to get the track and the parking lot completed."

For South faculty and staff, the final product can't come soon enough. The start of classes in August was delayed a few days so workers could make more progress on the building.

And today, some teachers still don't have a finished classroom so they've shared classrooms - and even used hallways and the cafeteria to teach students.

"The end result for me is when we're finally finished with the construction that we'll have a happy faculty and a happy staff," said Principal Will Fernandez.

But the delay did not come as a surprise to the South employees or district officials.

"It was an aggressive schedule to begin with," Fernandez said. "We were up to date. It wasn't a shock when they knew they wouldn't finish. Everyone else was expecting it to be done on time. We knew they were falling behind."

Even so, the project will probably come in under the $31.9 million budget, which includes asbestos abatement and furnishings.

"For all the bond issue projects, we're anticipating having at least $1.5 million remaining when we're done," Bracciano said.

Bracciano believes the new South will be a model for other junior high schools in Kansas. But Fernandez is more focused on how his staff and students will feel.

"I feel like for our teachers, the anxiety and stress will be unloaded," he said.


cowboy 10 years, 4 months ago

weather delays ? I work outside and I have lost one day due to weather this year.

Ragingbear 10 years, 4 months ago

~~Someone should loose their job over this fiasco!~~

Somebody should get a dictionary to determine the difference between lose and loose.

mom_of_three 10 years, 4 months ago

There was a ton of weather delays in the spring and early summer due to the rain. I am not an expert, but can you lay concrete or bricks if it is raining and wet? Perhaps, but I don't think they work very well.
I am not sure why the gym and the inside isn't done, unless it relates to the delays to the building in general.
I do have kids attending that school, and I am anxious to see it completed.

Ragingbear 10 years, 4 months ago

Can anyone spot the photoshopped items in that picture? I counted 3.

ralphralph 10 years, 4 months ago

Ah! The joys of the low bidder! Nearly every public works project turns into a fiasco, if allowed to. The public body has to build in real oversight and real time tables with real teeth in them. Contractors often are choosing which project to stay up on and which to let go based on how the contract is set up and administered. Crack that whip!

KsTwister 10 years, 4 months ago

Oh great, now the SJHS school project actual cost is less and still they have the same $1.5 million left over.

Boston_Charley 10 years, 4 months ago

Yes, Mom_of_Three, I was thinking the same thing about the weather--it seemed like a lot of the masonry work was happening during all that rain, and I know from personal observation that the area in back of the buildings was a mudpit. So I can understand some delays at that point. But it still must be very hard on the students and teachers, trying to concentrate with construction and demolition still going on.

woxy 10 years, 4 months ago

One of the classrooms that is not finished is the Technology classroom. Technology is a semester-long class. As of this week, the semester is half over. Assuming that the Nov. 16 deadline is met, students in first-semester Technology will have taken most of the class (and this is a required class) without the technology that was in place in the old building. So, these students are learning about technology, but not actually using any technology. I'm wondering what kind of disadvantage that those students unfortunate enough to have techology-less technology will suffer from in their subsequent classes.

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