School faces uphill battle with summer renovations

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By Corey Woolsey

Stepping into Mount Vernon High School currently brings you into a building that has much work to be done to be ready for classes in early August. A mark that Buildings and Grounds Director David Frye said will likely not be hit.

Last Monday, members of the Mount Vernon School Board took a tour of the school with Frey and other administrators to see what work was to be done on the building.

The work is part of a project to bring all buildings to the same standards in HVAC, as well as lighing, windows and other improvements.

Each classroom is getting a new heat and cooling unit to be connected to the new chillers installed at the school.

The new units, which match the units being installed at West and Marrs, will be much more efficient and parts will be compatable across all the schools.

Frye said that while the West Elementary will be complete this summer.

“We are about two or three weeks from completion at West and we are busting along at Marrs,” Frye told the school board members. “This (high school) is the building we are going to have troubles with.”

Frye said that contractors are going to 10 hour days and have talked about going to Saturdays as well to get the work done.

Delays on getting some equipment and manpower have been issues that have slowed down progress on the building.

“We talked about manpower being a concern a long time ago,” said Board Member Joe Rutledge.

The new lighting installed in the buildings are LED panels that will make for much more cost efficient lighting. Frye showed board members the panels and how they replaced the older fluorescent lighting.

Frye said the beginnings of the project started early in the year.

“We got started in February,” he said. “Ordering things, getting the contractors lined out, and they started doing things at the buildings in March.”

The work began with a pair of rooms at a time at West and Marrs.

Frye said Marrs is a much more in depth project than West, with more renovations like the high school is getting.

There are needs that must be completed before school opens for classes.

“Classrooms, kitchen, cafeteria are musts,” said Frye. “There are things that can be done before school, after school. We are going to have to work with the contractors on scheduling things.”