MT. VERNON — District 80 Schools are undergoing a variety of maintenance projects this summer designed to improve safety and enhance the educational environment for students, school officials said.
“It’s just nice to have some down time to be able to take care of some of these things that would be difficult to do when students were around,” said Assistant Superintendent Aletta Lawrence.
The projects are currently on schedule, but workers are having to complete them in a shorter time frame than usual.
This past school year didn’t begin until after Labor Day
and the district had to make up nine snow days at the end of the year, said Greg Lievers, director of maintenance for District 80.
“We make it as good a schedule as we can,” Lievers said. “Of course, we’re going to be probably doing some of the summer maintenance when the kids get back because there’s so much of it to be done this year in such a short time. … We’re doing about 11 weeks worth of work in about an eight-week period.”
Several key projects are underway, including about $32,000 worth of work at the Dr. Andy Hall Early Childhood Center. This includes creating a new bus lane, redoing the blacktop on the playground area, replacing the roof, and installing bookshelves in six classrooms.
“That’s a massive project for our maintenance department,” Lievers said of the new bookshelves.
An $18,000 tuckpointing project at Andy Hall has already been completed, as has a $12,000 roof replacement at the District Office.
Lawrence said the new bus lane at Andy Hall will allow for buses to load and unload children within a fenced-in area.
Previously, the buses let students out on the sidewalk and they had to walk a short distance to the gym entrance, Lawrence said.