Jefferson-Morgan renovation will not interfere with the start of school

July 22, 2015
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Mike Jones/Observer-Reporter
A worker removes bricks Monday afternoon from a chimney atop the Jefferson-Morgan Middle-Senior High School while the building undergoes renovations this summer. Order a Print
Image description
Mike Jones/Observer-Reporter
A worker installs a new ventilation duct inside the Jefferson-Morgan Middle-Senior High School auditorium. Order a Print

JEFFERSON – The renovation of Jefferson-Morgan Middle-Senior High School is proceeding smoothly and will not interfere with the scheduled start of classes next month, acting Superintendent Craig Baily said.

“School will start on time,” Baily said Wednesday. “There will be some ongoing construction, but it will not interfere with the students or the educational process.”

Teachers are to report Aug. 24 and the first day of classes for students is Aug. 27.

Much of the work that may still have to be completed after those dates will be in areas not accessible to students, such as in the boiler room, Baily said. It’s also possible some work could be done in the evenings.

The district will make sure the building is safe for students and staff, Baily said.

“Safety is a primary concern,” he said. “Everything will be safe.”

The bulk of the work being completed as part of the renovation project includes replacing portions of the roof, upgrading the electrical and plumbing systems, replacing the heating system and adding air conditioning to the building. The heating system will not be operational at the start of school, but that normally is not needed until October, Baily said. He added the air conditioning also will not be functional, but will be ready in the spring.

“All the principal contractors have worked hand in hand to get this project done smoothly,” Baily said

The middle-senior high school was constructed in 1955 and was last renovated about 28 years ago.

The board originally considered a complete renovation of the building, but after completing a feasibility study and considering the projected costs, decided to limit the scope of the project to what it believed the district could afford.

The board prioritized the recommended improvements and narrowed the list of work to the replacement of the roof and the upgrading of the electrical, plumbing and heating and air conditioning systems.

The district issued $5.8 million in bonds to fund the project. The board awarded contracts for the work in May totaling $4.35 million.

Because bids came in lower than expected and money was left from the proceeds of the bond issue, the board was able to add some other work it felt was also “very much needed” in the school, Baily said.

The board approved a change order Monday to include in the project at a cost of $315,840 the replacement of the windows at the front entrance, atrium and administrative offices. The windows were original and had not been replaced during the last renovation of the school. The board also agreed to a change order to replace fire alarm. intercom, clock and telephone systems.

The board also is considering using available funds from the bond issue to repave the driveways on the district’s campus, work that will be completed later, Baily said.

Bob Niedbala worked as a general assignment reporter for the newspaper for 27 years in the Greene County bureau. He received a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Pittsburgh.

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