Eureka renovations complete

Published 10:00 am Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Eureka Elementary School’s $3.2 million renovation project reached substantial completion Aug. 1, according to Skanska’s Project Manager Tim Burge.

“(The) project has went well throughout the last year and a half … (the) school is very comfortable for students and staff, and the visitors as they come there now with the new roof, new skylights, new ceiling tiles and the new HVAC systems,” said Burge.

He said he has almost all of the documents for close out, however punch list items are also still being completed.

“We did have one room we had to go back and add a unit, because it was labeled as a storage room and it’s actually being used as an office” said Burge.

At that time, he projected work on the additional unit and soil that was damaged during construction to be completed by the end of September.

Burge said at this time, the project is on budget, however, he expects the cost to come in well under the budgeted $3.2 million. “Maybe $150,000 (under),” he said.

Previously, Red House/Cullen Supervisor Dr. Nancy Carwile said the request came from the school board regarding the repairs.

At that time, Division Superintendent Dr. Nancy Leonard said, “while completing repairs on a pipe leak in December (2016), it was discovered that the pipes in the ceiling of the classrooms at Eureka have significantly corroded. The corrosion occurred over many years and to the degree that there was urgent concern that the heating and cooling system could fail at any time, leaving 500 students displaced. The extent of the corrosion was such that a repair would be an extensive HVAC replacement project to heat or cool the school.”

She also said she did not believe the students were in danger at any time, however, system failure would have prevented the school from being used.

Leonard said she, along with the school board, offered a presentation to supervisors in February 2017 concerning the school’s budgetary needs and six-year capital improvement plan.

“An urgent need at Eureka was outlined to the board of supervisors regarding the heating, cooling and ventilation system at Eureka,” she said. “While the school system has expressed HVAC concerns at Eureka through a facilities study, in open session at school board meetings, and with the board of supervisors, the extent of the problem became more evident and pressing midyear.”