School receives $1.6 million in renovations

New+renovations+allow+for+students+in+wheelchairs+or+injured+to+have+easy+access+to+the+school+cafeteria.+In+the+past%2C+students+had+to+take+a+chair+lift+down+and+it+frequently+broke.
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School receives $1.6 million in renovations

New renovations allow for students in wheelchairs or injured to have easy access to the school cafeteria. In the past, students had to take a chair lift down and it frequently broke.

New renovations allow for students in wheelchairs or injured to have easy access to the school cafeteria. In the past, students had to take a chair lift down and it frequently broke.

Ellie Widowski

New renovations allow for students in wheelchairs or injured to have easy access to the school cafeteria. In the past, students had to take a chair lift down and it frequently broke.

Ellie Widowski

Ellie Widowski

New renovations allow for students in wheelchairs or injured to have easy access to the school cafeteria. In the past, students had to take a chair lift down and it frequently broke.

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Renovations from a 2014 $94 million bond issue began with West High receiving  $1,630,000.

“The majority of the project revolved around replacing old roofs at a number of areas. We also added Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) ramps at the cafeteria and the pool. The asphalt drive next to the stadium was replaced the year before. We also replaced floor coverings in a number of areas, the highest profile project being in the library,” Director of Facilities Mike Mertens said.

While many of the renovations fell under the bond decisions, the library’s facelift was made at the school level.

It’s really nice having a ramp now,” senior Alex Rossi said. “It is a much easier way of getting down to the cafeteria. The lift was always breaking down, so it makes a big difference now that the ramp is there.

“The library carpet was old and looked bad. It needed to be refurbished, so the librarians and Dr. Mitchell worked out a plan last year to put in new carpeting and new furniture,” Building Manager Scott Bollmann said.

Along with the library, the carpeting was replaced in all social studies classrooms.

“We talked it out with the social studies teachers and they decided that they were willing to pack up and move all of the furniture out of the rooms at the start of summer,” Bollmann said.

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Renovations in the library included new carpeting and the addition of lounge furniture sets.

Another noticeable change is the new ADA ramp by the cafeteria. Before the ramp, special needs students used a lift to get to the cafeteria.

“It’s really nice having a ramp now,” senior Alex Rossi said. “It is a much easier way of getting down to the cafeteria. The lift was always breaking down, so it makes a big difference now that the ramp is there.”

The ADA ramps were paid for by the district by the ADA fund, which keeps the buildings up to code with ADA specifications.

I was complaining about the chair lift because I thought it drew a lot of attention to kids in special needs situations. It wasn’t an effective product so I’ve been lobbying for the ramp. The pool was also an issue for special needs kids,” Bollmann said.

While  the bond issue paid for capital improvements such as electrical equipment, 14 roof sections, updated stairway guard rails and pavement by the stadium another noticeable change was the removal of the mural by the junior and senior locker bay.

“I kind of miss the mural,” senior Jamie Poppen said. “I wish they wouldn’t have painted over it. Other than that, I like all the changes. The library looks a lot nicer and with the ramp there is a lot less traffic by the cafeteria.”

The asphalt drive and roof sections were identified as the areas that were most critical for the bond issue.

“Capital replacements are driven by condition of the equipment. Our goal is to replace those pieces of equipment that are in the worst condition. Requests outside of capital replacements were coordinated through the school’s Facilities 2020 committee,” Mertens said.

There are still more improvements to be made within the next few years with bond issue money.

“For future bond issues, from a capital replacement standpoint, it appears we will be investigating replacing a combination of HVAC, roofing and building envelope items.  As part of the 2018 bond issue planning process, we will be asking all of our schools for building-specific requests for renovations. The Parkway community as a whole will review all project requests to determine the ultimate make up of the next bond issue,” Mertens said.

 

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