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Massive renovations transform Stigall

DECORATIVE ENTRY – Stigall Primary School is undergoing a $3.2 million renovation project. Lashlee-Rich construction superintendent, Bryan Parkhill (left) and Humboldt City Schools’ construction manager, Tyler Howell, stand under the new awning at the entry of the building. Construction was going hard and heavy last week preparing for the beginning of school. Classrooms and the cafeteria will be complete before school starts while the remainder of the renovations will continue into the school year.

Anyone who drives by or happens to walk inside Stigall Primary School lately knows it looks like a warzone. Massive renovations have been ongoing since Christmas break last year.

During the school year, construction was limited to not disrupt classroom time for students. But since school let out the end of May, work has been going nonstop preparing for opening day next week.

STORED IN THE GYM – The gymnasium at Stigall Primary School is being used as a gigantic storage locker while renovation go on. This is what 20-plus classrooms of tables, chairs, desks, bookcases and other furniture looks like.“Work began during the Christmas break when we moved six classrooms,” project superintendent Bryan Parkhill said last week. Parkhill works for Lashlee-Rich, construction manager for the renovation project. “We created exterior doors in each classroom and installed independent HVAC units for each room.”

Two new additional restrooms were built on the north end of the building at that time.

The day after school released for the summer, Stigall was flooded with a drove of workers and construction crews.

Tyler Howell, project manager for Humboldt City Schools, had both school personnel and workers remove all the furniture from each classroom and stacked it up in the gymnasium. Construction crews began renovating the other classrooms with new exterior doors and HVAC units.

With the short 8-week window while school was out, Parkhill and Howell knew there would be long work days ahead as well as weekends for certain crews.

“Electricians have been working six days, 10 hours a day and our HVAC guys have been working seven days a week,” Parkhill noted. “We’ve rotated different crews in and out, sometimes going 24 hours a day.”

In all, 28 new exterior doors were cut in for each classroom, the library and cafeteria. Not only were new exterior doors created, all interior doors have been replaced as well.

New HVAC units are installed for each classroom that are specially designed to bring in fresh air, dehumidify the air and have carbon dioxide monitors. Six split units were installed for rooms not used by students, including a conference room, teacher workrooms and the technology equipment room.

UP, UP AND AWAY – A crane (at right)  lifts one of the new 20-ton heating and air units onto the roof of Stigall Primary School last Thursday. This unit will help heat and cool the gym. Another HVAC unit like this one had already been hoisted onto the roof on the other side of the gym. A crane hoisted three 20-ton units onto the roof last Thursday, one for the cafeteria and the other two for the gym. Since the massive units weigh around 2,500 lbs. each, four concrete footings and steel reinforced concrete columns were installed to support the weight for each unit.A smaller unit, weighing approximately 900-lbs, was craned onto the library roof. Another HVAC unit like the rooftop was installed on the ground. Structural support work was done in the library as well, but not as extensive as for the 20-ton units.

Parkhill estimated the entire HVAC systems combined will use 30-percent less natural gas to heat the school than the old boiler system.

A new canopy at the main entrance makes for an inviting welcome into the building. On the inside, a new vestibule was created in the existing lobby so people can get out of the weather. The new wall of windows and doors include a security system where visitors will be “buzzed” in from the office.

“We had to remove all the old technology wiring in the ceiling,” Howell said. “Much of the electrical has been redone as well. We basically ran new a circuit to the new equipment and corrected what wasn’t up to (today’s) code.”

As of last Thursday, all the classroom doors and HVAC were completed. New flooring and paint was finished on about half the rooms. Howell said the other classrooms should be finished within a couple of days.

On the campus, grade work was done to correct drainage issues in the past. Last Friday, 20,000 sq.ft. of sod was to be installed at the front of the building. The sides and back will be seeded and topped with a layer of straw to reduce washing.

Last Thursday, Howell and Parkhill estimated the project was over 80-percent complete, was on the time and on budget.

“The building was structurally sound, it just needed upgrading and new aesthetics,” Parkill added. “A new building would have cost over $10 million. They’re getting a lot of bang for their bucks.”

The Stigall renovation is part of a $4.5 million project.

With the huge amount of upgrades, $3.2 million was designated for Stigall renovations.

Other funds for the project went to work at the football stadium, AC for the high school gym, restroom renovations at the high school and other smaller projects.

The final phase of the project will be moving the Board of Education Central Office from the HJSHS campus to the old junior high building.

Construction to be performed at the dated junior high building will mostly be facelift type work such as paint, flooring and other aesthetics, although HVAC and renovating the auditorium are on the list as the big ticket items.

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