Even though inclement weather delayed its groundbreaking, the pace of work at both construction sites for Jefferson City high schools is set to explode.
Jefferson City Public Schools postponed plans to break ground Saturday on its new second high school; the ceremony is now planned for Feb. 17. But an architect and construction managers shared an update on the timeline for both of the district's high school projects at Superintendent Larry Linthacum's most recent community outreach event.
"They're pushing very hard for a building pad" to lay foundations on, The Architects Alliance's Principal Architect Cary Gampher said Feb. 2 of work at the site of the new high school.
While earth-moving work continues, refinement of the floor plan details continues, too, including specifics on materials, paint, carpet and ceiling tiles.
Nabholz Construction Project Manager Mitchell Fuemmeler said a now-bid grading package would mean that within weeks, "we should have a contractor on board to start scraping the topsoil off and getting down to rock."
Dynamite blasting will be involved once the rock under the site is exposed, "so we're going around the neighborhood, making sure everybody understands the process — when blasting will occur, if it's going to impact at all. We'll try to minimize the impact and reduce the size of the blast based on location of where it's going to be," Fuemmeler said.
Gampher expects the district's Board of Education will receive the design development package Friday.
He said the structural steel package for the new high school will go out March 2, and the rest of the second high school's construction documents will be completed May 15.
Design development of the Jefferson City High School renovation project is about 40-50 percent done, but the pace of work and sense of urgency soon will pick up considerably at that site, too, Gampher said.
"We've got to get (Nabholz) in the building this summer, starting work," he said. Nabholz will do just that when it mobilizes at the current high school around May 20 — "basically, the last day of school," Gampher noted.
Jay Drive will be shut down, and the corner with Franklin Street will serve as a contractor staging area, he said. Then, demolition of JCHS's third-floor east wing will start immediately — "Area G," as he refers to it.
Demolition of this area will clear space for 10 swing classrooms that will serve "to move students through as other parts of the building are being developed," he explained.
That, and a substantial asbestos abatement, will be the main pushes this summer.
"They're going to occasionally run into a few things throughout the construction projects — a pipe fitting here or there — but they will be doing a massive amount this summer," he added of abatement work.
Renovation work will proceed downward from Area G on the east side of JCHS along Lafayette Street; the Little Theater will be one of the last areas touched in that phase of work.
Gampher said five or six mobile units will be placed where the tennis courts used to be on the north side of the school to provide space for students while other areas of the school are renovated.
Fuemmeler said renovation work will involve a lot of phases and maximizing time available over summers and breaks when students aren't around.
Gampher said the job sites will be completely separated with distinct entrances and exits while students are on site to ensure safety.
"Quiet hours and things like that, they're more than willing to flex some of the activities they do, but it's going to be tough having to occupy a site and do construction. And frankly, that's why they were hired; they're experts at it," he added.
He expects construction documents for all other areas of JCHS including Nichols Career Center, the new library and connector between Nichols and the high school should be completed by Aug. 15.
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