Construction work throughout the St. James R-I School District appears to be on track time-wise, according to Lloyd Pooker, project manager for Creative Construction Services, the company overseeing the projects.
"The contractors have given us a May 2014 completion date," he said. "Unless something unforeseen comes up, they expect to have everything finished by that date."
Thursday, Pooker updated the St. James School Board of Education on the district's projects.
This April, district residents passed a $2.5 million bond issue to complete several projects throughout the district.
One of the main projects dealt with revamping the district's football field and track.
On top of installing a synthetic multi-sport surface at the Tigers' athletic field, a new eight-lane track will also be installed on the premises.
To go along with this work and other improvements at the sports complex, the bond issue also covered a new entrance and some new classrooms at the high school, additional classrooms at the middle school and new security systems at both buildings.
And for now, Pooker said everything is ahead of schedule.
The original targeted deadline for the district was July 2014.
Even with the recent winter weather, Pooker said he still is confident on the progress of the construction projects.
"The weather has not impacted our timeline," he said. "We now have all grading completed at the track and field. The field surface is down to its final dirt grade. We mixed lime with everything to stabilize the soil base."
He said the district's old asphalt track will now still be put to use by the district, but people will no longer use the asphalt as a surface to use for running.
"All of the asphalt from that track will be used for a retaining wall at the facility," he explained.
Pooker said about 80 percent of the field's drainage system and piping is also now installed.
Even thought things are on track, Pooker said one of the next steps at the football field and track will need to wait for a few months.
"Work on the track and field will be sporadic from this point forward until spring," Pooker wrote in the report he presented to the board.
"Above freezing temperatures will be needed to proceed with the concrete work as well as installation of the base rock on the field.
“Because of the contractor’s efforts throughout November and the first week of December, the track and field project is to a point where work can resume quickly as the weather improves."
The concrete work will include things like the curb going around the perimeter of the field and a 4-foot sidewalk around the track.
"This is used as a guide for the asphalt and rubber for the track," Pooker explained.
Page 2 of 2 - He said work at the high school and middle school is also on schedule.
Once the project is completed, the high school will have a new entrance in the general vicinity of where the school's old pavilion was, and new classrooms will appear where the old office was located.
"We poured the last of the foundation walls on Monday," Pooker said of the work at the high school.
"We're getting ready to pour slab and should have the mason out next week to lay block."
The middle school and high school will both also have upgraded security systems after the project is completed, and the middle school will also have additional classrooms.
"At the middle school site, the next items of work will be to finish grading the building slab and installing the base rock, (as well as the) electrical ground rough-in of conduits and pouring the building slab on grade," Pooker wrote in his board report.
Concrete work may also pose some problems at the middle and high school, similar to how it will impact the track, but Pooker said there are some ways to get around this issue.
"Due to the early onset of below normal temperatures, both the middle school and high school schedule will most likely be revised to proceed with getting the building shell in place with the roof and then installing temporary heat to thaw the ground to pour the slab on grade at each building," he explained.