By Jef Rietsma
Vicksburg Community Schools once again took advantage of empty school buildings over the summer to catch up on construction projects.
Superintendent Keevin O’Neill said the district continues to identify and address a variety of building needs. A heavy focus was placed this summer on work at Indian Lake and Sunset Lake.
The work is being done thanks to a $17.6 million, 20-year millage request district voters approved in May 2020. The Board of Education tapped the expertise of project manager Frederick Construction and architect TowerPinkster to oversee this summer’s work.
Nearly $6 million in work was performed between the two schools.
O’Neill said the district is not disappointed with the improvements.
“I’m very pleased that all our projects were completed on time and I want to once again thank our supportive Vicksburg community for passing the 2020 bond,” O’Neill said. “The comfortable, flexible learning environments we are creating will enhance learning for all. In addition, I would like to thank our construction manager, Frederick Construction, for their efforts to ensure the quality and timeliness of our summer projects.”
Here’s a closer look at what was done this summer, starting with Indian Lake:
- Electrical improvements, including reworking existing ceiling-mounted technology (wireless access points, cameras, clocks, etc.) in preparation for new ceiling tiles, installation of LED lighting and lighting controls throughout the building, and some work to clean up existing circuitry to free up capacity for future use.
- Mechanical upgrades: installation of new HVAC components throughout the building to provide heating and cooling in several locations, including all classrooms, offices, common spaces, media center and cafeteria.
- New flooring in some areas in the building.
- Interior renovations. Includes acoustical ceilings, new drywall bulkheads and walls related to the new vertical HVAC units, as well as repairs to the exterior-insulation finishing system.
- Masonry. Modifications to interior and exterior masonry to accommodate louvers for the new vertical units.
Total cost at Indian Lake is about $2.4 million.
Meanwhile, district officials said the scope of work at Sunset Lake is essentially the same as Indian Lake, with the addition of window and exterior-wall renovations. Assistant Superintendent Steve Goss said the work at Sunset Lake was sequenced over last summer and this summer. Total cost for the school is approximately $3.5 million.
The district is expecting about 2,700 students for the 2022-23 academic year.