EPS, RCAPS projects continue during summer
EVART – As summer vacation may be in full swing for Osceola County students.
However, so are summer project schedules at Evart Public Schools and Reed City Area Public Schools, with money from voter-approved bond measures helping pay for infrastructure and cosmetic work.
At Evart Public Schools’ three buildings, an array of projects are underway simultaneously so they can be done for the start of school in August.
Work includes installation of a new boiler, H-VAC system, flooring and carpeting, electrical and a new air conditioner, said Jason O’Dell, middle school principal.
“We are getting new flooring on all three floors,” he said. “We’ll have a new electrical system throughout the building, bringing us into the 21st century.”
Another project is the installation of occupancy lighting in areas of the school, including the gym. The lights turn on when someone enters the room and turn off when they leave.
“(The occupancy lighting) will pay for itself in three years with energy savings,” he said.
Currently, the gym is packed with items from around the school as those areas are being worked on.
Restrooms at the middle school also are getting remodeled, with new flooring and countertops, O’Dell said.
New restroom flooring and countertops are being installed at the elementary school, as well as putting the entire building on one emergency alert system.
At the high school, some occupancy lighting is being installed, but O’Dell said the focus is safety lighting.
“There will be some countertops and electrical work, too,” he said. “We also have new security cameras being installed.”
Laptop and desktop purchases, as well as cases for Chromebooks, for the high school will allow the district to have 1-to-1 ratio of computers to students.
“Depending on the budget, we’d like to do some additional work,” he said. “We’ll just have to see.”
Money from RCAPS’ May 2016 voter-approved bond is paying for projects that are on or ahead of schedule, said Tim Webster, superintendent through June 30.
“The asphalt for the track will be in place,” he said. “The new drainage system for the football field is set up, the sprinklers are repaired and they are reseeding the area on field so they can get grass growing.”
With most of the demolition work completed, footings are laid for the new entryway at the high school, Webster said.
Other work at the district’s buildings includes the installation of new LED lighting in both G.T. Norman Elementary gymnasiums, Webster said.
“The lights are much brighter and nicer,” he said. “Those are going to be energy-savers for the district, saving us 80 to 90 percent over a short time.”
Much of the middle school roof repair was completed, Webster said, as workers needed to do a final inspection with thermal imaging to see if there was any remaining wet insulation.
“The roofers are feeling they are ahead of schedule on that project,” he said.
Most of the carpet had been taken out of the middle school, and workers were coordinating the painting and carpeting times throughout the building, Webster said.
“We are also in the middle of some infrastructure type of work with technology through the middle school and high school,” he said. “We have a lot going on.”