Clayton prepares for OK'd school upgrade referendum work

Monday, November 30, 2009
By Jessica Driscoll

Voters approved bond referendums for two local school districts in September and now district officials are working with architects to prepare bid specifications and prepare for construction.

In Clayton, work will likely begin this spring on a $20 million renovation and expansion project at the high school/ middle school.

The detailed project includes: Instructional Materials Center (IMC) conversion to the entrance and middle school offices; renovations to classrooms and the computer lab; an upgrade of the security system; replacement of the emergency generator, interior doors and hardware, HVAC systems in the gym and auxiliary gym; construction of a library/IMC to Department of Education standards; expansion and renovation of the cafeteria and kitchen; construction of a high school entrance and office; the addition of two science labs with prep rooms, 16 Smart Classrooms, five small group/special education classrooms and an art studio; renovation of the TV studio; reconstruction of the baseball field; a new middle school/high school plaza on Pop Kramer Boulevard and the addition of a connector drive between the parking lot and plaza.

"Since the bond referendum passed on September 29, we have been in the pre-construction phase with our architects doing all the detailed drawings and specifications that are required to send to the state for final approvals," said Clayton Superintendent Cleve Bryan. "Once Trenton gives us those approvals, the architects will be putting together bid specifications and we hope to go out for bid right after the new year in January."

Bryan said that a number of weeks must be allowed for submission of bid proposals and the district hopes to have all bid packages by February and be able to award a contract by late February or early March.

"We want to break ground on the new addition at the high school/middle school in the spring," said Bryan.

The project will also fund conversion of the board of education office into three classrooms; replacement of the roof, chiller, electrical service, emergency generator and HVAC rooftop units; and masonry repairs and parking lot and playground reconstruction at Herma S. Simmons Elementary School.

"The bid specifications for the elementary school project will be prepared at the same time and we want to start the roof replacement right after school lets out in June," said Bryan. "The outside work like waterproofing and renovations to the parking lot and playground will also take place in the summer."

The remaining renovations at the high school/middle school probably won't take place until the spring and summer of 2011, said Bryan, because offices and classrooms must be moved around after the new wing is constructed and ready for occupancy.

"We hope to have the remaining renovations completed in fall 2011 and hope to have everyone in the new or renovated facilities by mid-school year 2011-2012."

Nearly $10 million for the project has been promised to Clayton by the state because of the referendum's passage. Bryan said all necessary paperwork has been filed, as per the grant application checklist, and that after final approvals come in, scheduled funds would be available along the construction timeline.


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