$4.5M project well underway
by Danny Wade
The renovation project for Humboldt City Schools is well underway. The $4.5 million project was approved approximately one year ago and still has months of work to continue.
Last week, Greer Lashlee of Lashlee-Rich Contractors and project manager Pat English gave an update of work completed, work in progress and work to come. Lashlee-Rich’s Bryan Parkhill is the construction superintendent on site and Tyler Howell is project manager for Humboldt City Schools.
Last year the school board approved the project working in partnership with the city of Humboldt, who borrowed the majority of the money through TML Bond Fund. The bond was for $3.8 million with Humboldt City Schools funding $750,000. HCS will pay back the note with an annual payment of over $200,000.
With the vast majority of the money going to totally renovate Stigall Primary School, the first task was replacing the roof on the gymnasium, which had multiple leaks. The roof was completed last year and is now fully functioning, according to Lashlee.
While the roof project was nearing completion, work began at Barker Memorial Stadium.
English said the restrooms on the home side bleachers of the football stadium were completely renovated with new fixtures, new doors, new roof and fresh paint. Restrooms on the visitors’ side also received a facelift with new paint and a new roof. The visitors’ locker room got new lockers, paint and a new roof as well.
The home side bleachers received metal siding to cover up the concrete block walls that were deteriorating.
The concession stand, press boxes and ticket booth were spruced up with fresh paint.
The HJSHS gymnasium received improvements too. Restrooms in the locker rooms and the public restrooms in the school building were renovated with new fixtures and new paint, and are now handicap accessible.
Now that basketball season is over, two new 35-ton HVAC are being installed this week to heat and cool the gym. Previously, the gym was only heated and had no air conditioning.
As the stadium phase was completed, construction focused back to Stigall for a total makeover of the entire school. This is where the bulk of the funds will be used.
Over the past couple of months, workers have constructed new restroom facilities on the right end of the building. They have also created exterior doors for four classrooms on that side of the building. New HVAC is being installed in those classrooms as well as new flooring, ceiling, windows, paint and replacing the interior doors.
Lashlee and English hope to have the new restrooms and the four classrooms completely finished by the end of April. Once these classrooms are ready, students will move into them and work will begin on four more classrooms.
This week during spring break, the electricity was turned off so electricians can run electrical wiring for all the HVAC units for each classroom, cafeteria and gym. Additional electrical work will also be done while the power is off.
Final renovations of Stigall will include a new entrance makeover with metal awning and new paint for the entire exterior.
With dozens of classrooms to be renovated, Lashlee is hopeful the Stigall project will be compete by December.
Although the Stigall campus resembles a warzone at the moment, Lashlee said once Stigall is finished, it will be like a brand new school.
The final portion of the renovation project takes place at the old Humboldt High School/Humboldt Jr. High building on Ferrell St. This project won’t begin until all the other projects are finished.
Lashlee said Phase I will be renovating the school auditorium and the restrooms across from the principal’s office.
The auditorium will be brought back to its glory with new flooring, paint, seating and new HVAC systems. The auditorium has never been airconditioned.
English said the windows had partially been in-filled years ago, only leaving the upper portions. Workers will completely in-fill the remaining windows to make it a solid wall without any windows.
Lashlee said most auditoriums do not have windows and those that do, have curtains to cover them up.
The floors will have carpet in the aisle ways and vinyl floor tiles underneath the seats. New seating will include 552 molded fiberglass hinged seats with an option to upgrade with padding or cushions.
The former band room behind the stage will be converted into a dressing room and a new restroom will be built in the dressing room.
New security doors will block off the remainder of the building just past the principal’s office and restrooms. New exterior front doors will be installed as well.
The final part of Phase 1 of the old school project will be converting the library into a community room. Once renovated, school board meetings will be held there instead of the HJSHS library being used now.
Phase II will be the conversion of the old school into the new board of education central office. The lower level will be office space and the upstairs will be used for storage.
Originally there was discussion for demolition of the two additions that were built onto the school building decades ago. The plan for now is to only demolish the last addition on the right side of the building.
This will allow for the driveway on 21st Ave. to run in front of the building and include visitor parking for the central office. The middle doors of the building will be the central office entrance.
All new windows will be installed either toward the end of Phase I or early in Phase II.
With the overall project one year in the books and months more to come, Humboldt City School system is making strides to improve the learning environment for Humboldt students, teachers and staffs.