On just the third day of demolition at the Wadena-Deer Creek Elementary School, crews had torn apart many of the lower level classrooms, the entire playground area was cleared of equipment and trees, old flooring was sanded, electrical workers were sending wires where they needed to go, the media center was bare bones and that was all before 9 a.m. The school's 55 and 91 additions saw a great deal of the demo work, enough to fill 20 huge dumpsters on Monday, according to Site Superintendent Chris Wacker, with ICS Consulting.
Wacker showed off the progress and noted that crews planned to tear up a portion of Dayton Ave., later that day, to make way for the bus parking and playground zone on the southeast corner of the school near Memorial Auditorium.
"It's going to be the nicest playground around," Wacker said of the new area going in partially on the site of two former homes and partially on a portion of removed Dayton Ave.
He was pleased with the activity going on and noted that about 46 workers were on site most days making it happen.
Elementary Principal Louis Rutten was on site taking in the breadth of the work. He also noted the updates to bathrooms and the return of natural lighting to the gymnasium, a space that's been a bit of a dungeon since the 1970s without the use of lights.
Other actions the neighborhood will see soon include tearing up a potion of the curb and grass on the south and west sides of the school making way for diagonal parking, a move that creates nearly triple the current parking space in those locations. That move will also mean several smaller maple trees will be dug up and moved to the inside of the playground fence on the southwest corner of the school.
After that, the remaining block of Dayton becomes a two-way street.
Look for exterior work to progress quickly as this work needs to be done before the bells ring again this fall. This is the second summer of remodeling work at the school following the passing of two referendums and the use of bond dollars to spend over $14 million on updating the HVAC and most all other areas of the school, increasing safety, efficiency and aesthetics.