Right now, the hallways of Parkway schools are filled with student chatter. But in a few weeks, when school is out of summer, they'll be filled with a chatter of a different sort—that of construction equipment.
In March and April meetings, the Parkway Board of Education approved several bond issue-funded construction projects. There are two main focuses for bond projects, Mike Mertens, director of facilities, said. The first is to improve the schools' science labs. earlier this school year at Parkway Central High. Mertens said Parkway South High is next for those improvements; the addition being built at that school should be completed in May or June. Renovations to current science classrooms will be complete by next school year.
Another goal of construction projects funded by the $87-million bond issue passed by voters in 2008 is to minimize classroom distractions. Classrooms at several Parkway Elementary schools are slated for drywall partitions, which will minimize sound distractions. A lot of schools were built with an open floor plan, Mertens said. They may already have some partitions, but they don't reach the ceiling or block much noise, he said.
At Sorrento Springs Elementary, he said, teachers have had to get creative with how they divide their classrooms. They've placed large cabinets next to the existing partitions to try to block more sound. Installing dry wall partitions will be better, Mertens said, because they will block classrooms off visually and be a better sound barrier.
The bond issue also funds school maintenance and repairs, some technology additions, enhancing fine arts space and projects that improve student safety.
Below is a roundup of all the construction approved by the school board at its March 2 and April 13 meetings.
- The roof at the north end of the recently renovated wing of science classrooms will be replaced. A 5-year-old rooftop-mounted heating, ventilation and cooling air handling unit that is no longer needed in that wing will be relocated to above the cafeteria. The $238,000 contract was given to Raineri Construction at last Wednesday's meeting.
- Roofs will be replaced over the pool, the art area, the south half of the main building, the connecting link between the main building and the four-story 1989 addition, a stairwell on the south side of the main gym and two small awning areas at the delivery area. Griffith Development Company will complete the $436,700 project, which was approved last Wednesday.
- The main water line feeding the campus will be replaced. The water meter pit, which is currently in the grass island that separated the income drives from the outgoing drives, will be moved closed to the property line. The $112,900 contract was awarded to McGrath & Associates Inc. last Wednesday.
- The sanitary sewer line at the athletic wing will be replaced. Karrenbrock Excavating will remove the old clay pipe sanitary sewer and replace it with a PVC pipe. The pipe runs under an exterior stairwell, which will be demolished and replaced. The contract, approved in March, was awarded for $86,833.
- Pavement, curbs and sidewalks will be replaced around the school and parking lots. Kerrenbrock Construction Inc. was awarded the $338,015 contract, which was approved in March.
- 40 percent of the roof on the main building and 30 percent of the roof on the physical education wing will be replaced. A dehumidification unit will be installed in the swimming pool area and two boilers will be replaced. The $1,521,000 contract was awarded to Tri-Co Inc. Commercial in March.
- A sprinkler will be installed in the center of the building—the area from the cafeteria north to the hallway that is north of the library. This will bring the building up to code. John Kalicak Construction will do the work for $391,942; the board approved the contract last Wednesday.
- Heating boilers—including the pumps, piping, valves and gauges—will be replaced. The exterior door to the mechanical room, which has rusted out, will also be replaced. The $239,399 project will be completed by MMI, per last Wednesday's school board vote.
- Stormwater drainage improvement projects were approved in March. The improvements are needed because stormwater currently runs off from the southwest corner of the school property behind the paved play area onto the neighbors' property, causing erosion. Landesign Construction and Maintence Inc. was awarded the $60,900 contract to build a new storm drain, a concrete curb, a paved drainage swale and to modify the contours of the existing landscape.
- Classrooms will be partitioned and the nurse's area will be renovated. In the wings just south of the library and north of the main office, accordion wall partitions will be removed and replaced with drywall. Spencer Contracting Company will complete the projects as well as asbestos abatement of the flooring in the main office for $531,481. It was approved in March.
- The roof over the main office and kindergarten areas, as well as the northwest corner of the building, will be replaced. Raineri Construction will complete the project and correct the sight line so that people in the administrative office can see visitors entering the building. The contract, awarded in March, is for $318,920.
- The exterior stucco walls will be repaired, roofs will be replaced and some classrooms will be partitioned, creating better sound barriers and better isolating classrooms from each other. Raineri Construction was awarded the $487,290 contract in March.
- Roofs will be replaced and the heating, ventilation and cooling unit that serves the wing added at the back of the school in 1989 will be replaced. Brady Construction Inc. was awarded the $546,900 contract in March.
- Skylights that have deteriorated over time will be replaced or removed. Accordion partitions between classrooms will be replaced with drywall. Plus, asbestos will be abated in the two-story wing east of the library/music/cafeteria areas. Griffith Development Company was awarded the $351,800 contract in March.
- Partition walls separating classrooms will be extended to the ceiling. The cabinents that line these walls currently will be moved to the coat rooms. Each resource area in the grade-level pods will be modified to remove accordion walls and drywall will be installed in its place. The $338,000 contract was awarded to Raineri Construction last Wednesday.