The construction of the new primary school is reaching a new stage – a safer one.
Fencing, gates and other security measures are being installed around the construction site. The building is almost closed and finishing work is in progress.
“There’s enough work going on inside the building that we’re going to protect it differently,” Dan Willis, president of the $257 Board of Education, told board members earlier this week.
A major milestone was reached on Monday when the construction site received a shipment of sandwich panels. The rest arrived later in the week.
The insulated panels will protect the mechanical equipment and are the final piece of the puzzle to enclose the entire building. Once fully enclosed, the entire building can be treated and temperature controlled so crews can begin laying floors, installing sheetrock and painting.
This work has begun on some parts of the building.
Most of the windows are already in place, except for the rumor room on the west side.
The crews were expected to start installing the gym floor and finish the kitchen area by the end of this month. Fire sprinklers have been installed in the cafeteria.
A fire inspector is scheduled to visit the building on July 5. If all goes well, the building is expected to open its doors on the first day of school on August 17.
An open house is scheduled for August 16.
Andy Gottlob, principal of Lincoln Elementary, said a committee of elementary school faculty and staff is planning first-day activities.
Willis also triggered a tornado that hit Andover, near Wichita, on April 29.
The town’s YMCA building took a direct hit, with 43 people sheltering inside. Everyone left unharmed.
Willis noted that the companies that built the YMCA and storm shelter, including SJCF Architects and Construction Director Coonrod & Associates, are the same companies that designed and built Iola Elementary School.
“I feel so comfortable that we have the right people,” Willis said.
The demolition of the former science building and cafeteria is expected to begin on June 1, after this year’s classroom separation.
Final work on dirt began in the new science building, with weed seeds laid.