Seventy to 80 construction workers are working feverishly to have the WDC Elementary School move in ready by Saturday.
“This next week is going to be busy,” WDC Superintendent Lee Westrum said Monday, Aug. 19, during the regular school board meeting.
To reach the move-in-ready status involves completing the new flooring throughout much of the hallways; new bathroom fixtures, new paint work in the cafeteria, classroom window sills, pavement and painting of all lines around the school's new parking areas for staff, buses and community parking. It also involves a heavy cleaning and removal of a ton of plywood sheets laid out to protect the gym floor.
School board members toured the facility Monday, Aug. 19, and the highlight was the opportunity to bounce on the the new poured-in-place rubber playground base, 4.5 inches of fun.
They looked out over the new bus parking area, new parent drop off site, new staff parking, new playground and workers still finishing the roof of the Memorial Auditorium. Further work was planned to replace brick work above the windows on the auditorium, fully restoring the exterior of the community auditorium.
Highlights for parking include 20 diagonal WDC parking spots on the west side of the school, double that of before. Another area to the south adds 10 parking spaces plus a 5 minute parking zone for parents dropping off and picking up students. Another parking area to the east of the playground offers parking for staff or visitors. Students exiting the school buses still have three access points from the buses to enter the school.
Inside, new flooring, paint, a brighter gym and cafeteria all had council members "oohing" and "aahing" about how much more spacious a new color scheme made the rooms. With every turn of the corner something made board members smile. A new elementary main office was shaping up with a whole new look. A look not seen in many years. Westrum noted that when his wife toured the school prior to remodeling, it was the same look and feel as she remembered from the 1970s. when she was last in the school.
Board members were pleased with the gym, which had a new paint job, windows that actually let light in and a sound system. Westrum considered it the best second gym a school district could have.
Site Superintendent Chris Wacker said at its peak this project had about 86 workers and about 30 of those were from the local area. He said they'll see close to those high numbers for the rest of the week as the final touches are completed. The only work that will likely roll into the first two days of school is the installation of the artificial turf near the playground.
Damien Williams, senior project manager with ICS, said from the original eight different designs that came forward with the parking and playground configuration, he was very pleased with the way the design came together following input from city, school, police, and community participants.