Summer vacation means school renovations

Summer vacation means school renovations

DANVILLE — Summer break has finally arrived for Danville students, teachers and staff — just about everyone in the school district but Ron Henton & Co.

With the kids and adults out of the way, it's time for Henton, the district's buildings and grounds director, and his staff to get rolling on more improvements to school buildings.

"It's a busy time for us, but this is the time to get this work done," Henton said.

Workers got started immediately last week, building a new handicap-accessible ramp at Danville High School's circle drive entrance. The school itself was already handicap-accessible, but its most heavily used pedestrian entrance and exit was not, Henton said.

What comes next depends on which way Danville school board members vote this week.

On Wednesday, the board will consider authorizing about half-million dollars in pavement work at three elementary schools — Cannon, Edison and Garfield.

Henton said the parking lots and drives at the three elementary schools are deteriorating badly, and if approved, the work will be finished this summer before school begins in August. Money for the paving would come from health, life, safety funds and some grant money.

Henton said the project will entail completely removing the old surfaces and laying new pavement. At Cannon, he said, the drive that goes behind the school and connects Bismarck Street with the parking lot will be paved. And at Edison, the drive leading from Jackson to the school parking lot will also be paved and widened to create more parking.

Wednesday, the board also will consider awarding the low bid of $49,686 from McDowell Builders, Inc., for restroom renovations at Garfield. The board has already approved restroom renovations at Cannon and Edison.

Henton said the renovations at Garfield would be to both the girls' and boys' restrooms, plus a restroom in the teacher's lounge and others in two classrooms. They require total makeovers — new stalls, toilets, faucets and sinks would be installed.

The district was awarded a $50,000 maintenance grant from the state, said Superintendent Mark Denman, which will help fund the Garfield improvements.

A second $50,000 state maintenance grant will be used to do some masonry work at Danville High, Denman said. There are cracks in a concrete wall on the east side of the high school, near the football field, that are getting "pretty severe," an architect told Henton.

Denman said the district is also considering paving the gravel lot across from the circle drive at Danville High.

"Like most districts," Denman said, "we have more work than dollars."

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