School project still on schedule, and operating under budget
By COLE BENZ | Herald Editor
Though a harsh winter caused construction crews working on the new Mott-Regent school to get behind schedule by a few weeks, they have since caught up and the new elementary school is still slated to be open for the upcoming 2017-2018 school year.
“I think it’s gone really, really well,” said Viola LaFontaine, Mott-Regent Superintendent. “They’re on time, they’re not behind schedule.”
LaFontaine told the Herald that she attends regular, weekly meetings with the onsite construction crew for updates on the building’s progress. The progress is documented for the public to see right on the home page of the school district’s website.
According to the site, the first and second floor framing and door frames is 99 percent complete. Drywall hanging on the second floor is 45 percent complete.
The plan, according to LaFontaine, was to finish the second floor first because of the amount plumbing required on the first floor.
Also nearly finished is the first and second floor plumbing. The air system is also nearly complete on the second floor and is 75 percent done on the first floor.
The second floor electrical system is nearly complete and the first floor is 60 percent complete. Backing and wood blocking is complete on both floors while brick installation is ongoing.
Work that will beginning soon includes MEP rough, building wrap, insulation on first floor, continuing second floor drywall work, taping and texturing the second floor, painting second floor, installing ceiling grid, installing exterior brick, install exterior siding, and drywalling first floor, according to the information listed on Mott-Regent’s school website.
LaFontaine that there has not been many big surprises along the way, but it is the little things that have come up, especially when it comes to adjusting design elements of the building.
“I think some of the more finer details, you know you come back and think ‘oh geez we didn’t think of this or that’ kind of thing,” she said. “I think that’s been some of the surprises”
This project is also coming in cheaper than they thought.
“A wonderful surprise has been coming [in] under budget so much,” LaFontaine said.
With the extra funding, she said that they will be utilizing some of the funding to get the HVAC over to the high school so they won’t have to depend on the old boilers. They will still have to keep it going for some rooms, but on north side of high school they are hooking up to the new system. New hardware will be in place for future improvements on the system. But the board also wants make sure they can save money.
“We utilized some of the money for that, but the board is trying very, very hard not to have to spend all of the bond money,” she said.
LaFontaine said that there have been no disruptions in daily routines and class schedules, in fact some students have even been given tours of their future classrooms. She also said that the community is more than welcome to come and get a tour, you just have to stop in the high school office.
The soon-to-be old school building is scheduled to be demolished in the late fall, Schwartz Construction was awarded the bid for the job. But the school will be holding a special ceremony for the closing of the school during homecoming week next year, so the public can give it a proper closure.
As the school year winds down, the construction will continue through the summer and up to the start of school, and LaFontaine told the Herald that she is very appreciative of the community for making the endeavor possible.
“I’ve only been here a year, but I am so appreciative of the constituents of the school district that did decide that we would vote to get a school in place,” she said. “And I just think it is such an energizing and futuristic plan for the future of the community and our children.”