By TESA GLASS
---- — MT. VERNON — City Projects Manager Nathan McKenna and City Engineer Brad Ruble have created updates for construction projects underway.The city council received an update on projects during its meeting Monday.Projects expected to be completed by the end of this month include the Horace Mann School demolition; the Continental Tire the Americas rail spur; the expansion and repaving of South 34th Street to Veterans Memorial Drive; and the Veterans Memorial Drive and South Davidson roadway extensions.In addition, a sign ordinance is slated to be ready for presentation to the Sign Committee; a design for the wayfinding system, second phase of the housing marketing program; and the latest rounds of housing demolition approved by the council will be complete.According to McKenna, the sign ordinance is expected to be ready for the Zoning and Planning Committee for review later this month, and the council could get it by the end of the month. The wayfinding system design plans have been revised and will be reviewed this week by the Branding Leadership Team and other committees before being presented to the council in July. Work is in the final stages to have the Housing Marketing program online by the end of the month, as online website content is being reviewed. A housing guide for builders and developers is in final revisions.The CTA rail spur, although structurally complete, is awaiting for the Union Pacific Railroad to install the final switch within the next two weeks. The spur will then be ready for use. Ruble reported the expansion and pavement project on South 34th Street from Peach to Veterans Memorial Drive is at 85 percent completion."The last major concrete pour has been done," Ruble reported. "It is on track to be completed by the end of June."One of the most anticipated construction projects is the Veterans Memorial Drive and South Davidson extensions. Ruble said the construction is at 95 percent completion, with roadway pavement done and sidewalks poured. "They still have some seam sealing, solid joint sealing ... striping and signs will be put up next week."The project is "way ahead" of schedule, Ruble said."The contracted completion date was Aug. 31," Ruble said. "They will be done well before that, even with weather delays."McKenna also updated the council on the demolition of the former Horace Mann School. "The building itself should be down by the end of the week," McKenna said. "The date stone has been removed for the school district, and after it is on the ground, crews will be able to concentrate on cleaning and stacking bricks."A group of bricks are expected to be cleaned and stacked for local residents to keep as a memorial from their days as a student or employee at the school. Mayor Mary Jane Chesley cautioned the bricks are not suitable for construction or paving, but are memorial bricks. When bricks are ready for distribution, city officials will notify the public.