The student news site of Clayton High School.

The Globe

The student news site of Clayton High School.

The Globe

The student news site of Clayton High School.

The Globe

From the ground up

Though students and teachers will have left for the tropical beaches, snow-capped mountains and air-conditioned family rooms of summer vacation, the CHS campus will be far from quiet in the coming months. Construction crews will be working to build the new addition, which is supposed to be finished in time for the 2011 session of Summer Quest.

“This summer is going to be mostly focused on getting the addition steel up, getting the brick on under roof so we can start working on the interior finishes this fall and winter,” said Mark Winschel, the Project Manager from S.M. Wilson & Co.

Winschel estimates that work at the high school is about 15 percent complete, while work at the elementary schools, which is scheduled to be finished by this fall, is about 40 percent complete. The bulk of the work will happen over the summer, once the steel starts to go up later this month. While there are only 15 to 25 workers on site at the high school currently, that number will begin to increase dramatically in the coming months.

“Once the steel is up, that opens up a lot of work,” Winschel said. “You can start working on the inside, you can start working on the outside. I’d say our peak at the high school is probably going to be later on this fall. We’ll probably have close to a hundred guys here.”

Winschel said that the project has gone smoothly for the most part, despite a problem early on involving the locating of utility lines under the cottage and tech. building.

“A lot of times the utility information that we have on the plans doesn’t match exactly what’s shown in the field, so sometimes we’ll hit water lines or hit sanitary lines that are in the way,” Winschel said. “You have to work and get those repaired, and that delays your schedule a little bit because you’ve got to get all that stuff out of the way before you can do your foundations and steel.”

There have been some complaints from staff, which Winschel said is normal for a demolition project.

The sounds of jack-hammering and heavy machinery can be heard through the walls of the math wing, which has been a source of disruption for many teachers.

“It’s tough because if it’s loud and it’s disruptive, it’s not fair to kids to have class in there,” said Math Department Chair David Kohmetscher. “But the difficulty is that we don’t have space, that’s one of the reasons we’re building an addition; we don’t have enough rooms to send people to…. We’ve got one of our overflow rooms as an art bay, so you take your math class from here down to the ceramics room – not the most efficient place to learn.”

Winschel said that the noise level should be lessening soon as the demolition phase ends and crews start focusing on constructing the addition.

“We’re going to get to the stage where we get the shell enclosed, masons are working – that’s not a particularly loud activity – and then once the building’s enclosed we’re going to be working inside, so there’s going to be a pretty good buffer from the addition to the existing building,” Winschel said. “So I would say the disruption is probably going to go down in the near future.”

Because the math wing already has Smart Boards in every room, a central office and other perks from the most recent construction project, it will not be gaining any new facilities from the addition. In fact, the largest math classroom will lose about a third of its floor space to accommodate a hallway.

“We’re not getting anything from this one, but we’ve been pretty lucky we got this area in the last construction,” Kohmetscher said.

Health and P.E. teachers have also been affected by the construction, though not that of the new addition.  Renovations to the Stuber facilities have forced the health teachers to move out of their office, and the same fate will soon come to Coach Samuel Horrell, who is scheduled to move to one of the learning annexes later this month.  However, he said that the minor hassle of moving offices is outweighed by the positive changes that the construction will bring.

“I think the new facilities that we’re going to be getting are going to be phenomenal for our classes and for our athletics,” Horrell said. “So it’s worth that little price of inconvenience that you have to pay.”

The changes in store for Stuber will bring new rooms and capabilities that will greatly aid the athletics program.

“They’re redoing the locker rooms upstairs, they’re redoing them downstairs, and then on the girls’ side they’re actually putting an athletic training facility… where people can come in from outside and do rehab,” Horrell said. “Our athletes are going to have access to all the rehab and all the high tech. equipment that’s going to be in there.”

Construction crews will continue to hammer and bang as they build and renovate, which will likely bring more disruptions to staff and students.  Yet the end result, new buildings and facilities that will revitalize and modernize numerous classes, will surely be worth the price.  As Horrell said, “You’ve got to give a little to get a little,” and in this case, CHS is getting quite a lot.

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The student news site of Clayton High School.
From the ground up