BURLEY — Remodeling of Mountain View Elementary School is on track for completion in time for the start of school on Aug. 22.
Several subcontractor crews cut tile, installed insulation, fitted and taped drywall on Tuesday while temporary workers hired by the district transferred desks and furniture to other schools as the district moves to a K-6 configuration this fall.
Demo work began the first week of March.
“There is all this other work happening behind the scenes along with the construction as we set the schools up for K-6,” Debbie Critchfield, Cassia County School District spokeswoman, said. “In order to have everything ready for the start of school this fall it means all hands on deck this summer at the district.”
Furniture, library books, and instruction supplies all have to be redistributed throughout the Burley elementary schools as the shift takes place.
“We don’t have near as much anxiety going on with the construction as we do the reconfiguration of the schools,” Critchfield said.
District officials began talking with building administrators and teachers last October to make plans about the K-6 move.
For the past 20 years, Burley had one school with fourth through sixth grades that all students in town attended. Now, each of four elementary schools will have fourth through sixth grades, which means desks and bathrooms at the schools have to be adjusted to fit a wider age group.
Letters were sent to parents of all registered children telling them where their child will attend school this fall but the boundary information is also available on the district’s website.
Nuts and bolts of the remodel
“We’re moving along pretty good, but it’s a tight schedule,” Scott Higley, project superintendent for Starr Corporation, said.
The project is the last major one that will be paid for with the district’s $37 million 2015 construction bond, Critchfield said.
The other remaining smaller project will be some boiler work at Dworshak Elementary School.
The $3.1 budget for the Mountain View project included “gutting the interior to the bare studs,” Higley said.
“We will be using every penny of the money,” Critchfield said.
The main entrance is reconfigured to make the space bigger and includes locked double doors for school security.
The only portions of the school that will not be revamped are the gymnasium/cafeteria area and the heating system, which was replaced three years ago. One more heating unit will be added, however, to the kitchen/gym area of the school during the remodel and the gym floor will be refinished.
The school will have solid walls in between the 22 classrooms and all new windows and doors and a tutor room, which it lacked before.
Tutors were stuck into little closet spaces before, Critchfield said.
The hallways will also be wider.
The portable classrooms at the school will no longer be needed and the library will be enclosed.
Work throughout the school is at various stages from roughing-in the walls to finish work like trim and tile. A family bathroom and bathroom in the nurse’s station were also added and the ceilings were replaced, which were not originally planned.
“The whole school was just cobbled together,” Higley said. “It was a real hodgepodge of materials.”
From war zone to like brand new
At the start of the project there was not enough money to refurbish four of the existing bathrooms but Starr Corporation was able to find enough savings through the bid process to pay for the work on them.
“I think that really validates that hiring a construction manager really paid off,” Critchfield said.
When all of the furniture was moved out, it looked like a “school that had been abandoned in a war zone,” she said. “I think everyone recognized that it needed upgraded but with all the cute little things on the wall and everything I don’t think anyone realized its bad shape.”
Because the square footage of the school is not changing there will not be any extra storage space added but the classrooms will have new cabinets and cubby holes. The color pallet will be similar to John V. Evans Elementary with greens, blues and tans.
“The school is going to feel brand new when you come into it,” Higley said.