School’s out for summer, opening up space for construction and remodeling crews to move in.
Workers both employed and hired by the Lawrence school district are fanning out across the district, handling jobs large and small before students return to their respective classrooms and campuses in August.
“That’s our completion date and we will have them ready,” said Tom Bracciano, the district’s division director for construction and maintenance.
Among sites seeing the most work this summer will be Broken Arrow School, West Middle School and Free State and Lawrence high schools, places where changes brought on by district reconfiguration — moving sixth grade into middle schools, and ninth grade into the high schools — are prompting some of the most substantial work.
Adding another grade level means welcoming more than 300 more students at each high school, leading to plans for boosting capacity and efficiency in cafeterias, classrooms and hallways — installing new doors, expanding teaching space and adding lockers where needed. The school’s annex also is being remodeled to make room for more classrooms.
New bleachers will be installed for soccer and baseball at both schools and also for softball at Free State. Lawrence High also will be getting donor-financed upgrades at field entrances and around scoreboards.
Scheduled for reconstruction at Lawrence High, 1901 La.: a traffic path that runs north of the annex and soccer field, and along the south side of the main building, to include curbs, gutters and improved drainage.
“It’s a mess,” Bracciano said.
Among sites slated for work:
- Central Middle School: Reconstruct south parking lot. “It’s been a perpetual problem,” Bracciano said.
- West Middle School: Replace auditorium roof.
- Lawrence High: Replace roof of old science wing.
- Broken Arrow: Install a wall to separate former sixth-grade pod.
- Free State: Relocate jewelry shop; install a wall to split a large classroom into two smaller ones.
- Langston Hughes School: Convert two resource rooms into a computer lab.
- The projects will be financed using money in the district’s capital outlay budget, revenues set aside to address major projects and maintenance at school buildings and sites.
The district addresses maintenance needs throughout the school year, but major work typically is reserved for when classes aren’t in session.
“Summertime is a good time to get caught up,” said Rick Doll, district superintendent.