DANVILLE — Long before launching two extensive projects that would close Danville High School to the public over the summer, Skip Truex and his maintenance staff spent months planning how to carry out and complete them before the start of the school year.
Under one project, the district paid 4MC Corp. of Argenta $613,749 to oversee the remodeling of six restrooms — one boys and one girls on all three floors. Under the other, Kone Inc. rebuilt a 1950s or ’60s elevator at a cost of $268,100.
“We had 48 days from start to finish,” the school district’s buildings and grounds director said, adding the summer work schedule was shortened by weather-related make-up days last year and an early start this year. “We spent months in advance coordinating schedules with cranes and materials for the elevator company, as well as staging equipment and material for the restroom project.
“We had a few setbacks,” he continued, including addressing a number of pinhole leaks in old piping buried in the walls. A transformer for the elevator project arrived damaged, and some of the wrong braking components were shipped. “Every time we had a setback, it just made everybody work harder to move the project forward.”
Despite the problems, Truex said the school received its occupancy permit for the restrooms a week ahead of students’ return on Tuesday. He said the new elevator was ready for inspection last Friday, but inspectors from Chicago weren’t available until this week.
Truex said everything in the restrooms was gutted except for the floors. They now have new fixtures, stainless-steel partitions, LED lighting, tiled walls and a cream-colored paint scheme.
“They look similar to a high-end hotel or convention center,” Truex said.
While both projects were large-scale, Truex said they were just two of many taking place at the high school and every other district facility this summer.
“I want people to know how proud I am of (buildings and grounds supervisor) Seth Oldfield and all of our buildings and grounds staff,” he said. “Our in-house maintenance staff was an integral part of making things go smoother and quicker, not just with (the restrooms and elevator project), but with all of our projects. And the custodial staff put in a lot of extra time and effort over the summer to make sure everything is ready, and that’s while summer school, camps and other things are taking place.”