USD 428 Director of Business Operations Khris Thexton gave a brief update on the progress of various capital improvement projects at learning centers around the district Monday night at the July meeting of the Board of Education.
At Great Bend High School, crews have recently completed phase one of an upgrade to the east concession stand. The old stand has been removed, and concrete hauled away. Stone Construction will prepare and repour the pad for the new stand so Steele Builders can complete the rebuild. Thexton anticipates it will be ready in time for the first sporting events of the fall.
Workers completed spraying the new coating on the high school track, and lines and symbols are in place, but the district is still waiting for the final inspection to be completed. Thexton has some concern over inconsistencies in a number of places around the track. They haven’t stopped students and others from putting the new track to use, however. On Tuesday afternoon, several people were seen running and walking on the new track, enjoying the moderate temperature which was a welcome break from July’s regular blasting heat.
Thexton also brought to the board’s attention some collateral damage from the Great Bend’s July 4 celebrating. Apparently, a hot firework landed on the turf of the football field near the track, and melted the surface underneath. A black, rubber spot about the size of a set of car keys was discovered near the part of the field closest to the Panther Athletic Center when maintenance crews tackled a lengthy clean-up job at the field the following week.
“It literally looked like a war zone out there,” Thexton said. The board discussed possibilities for avoiding similar outcomes in the future, but came to the conclusion that there would be no cost-effective way to make certain it would not happen again. A tear in the turf was also found. Thexton is looking into having repairs made.
At Riley Elementary School, progress is being made on the new heating and cooling system, and Thexton brought images to share showing where the former units had been removed and the spaces in the walls filled in with concrete block and insulation. They will be painted, and existing shelving units will be moved to cover the openings so there will be no evidence of any construction when the job is complete, he said.
The new units have a low profile and are attached at the ceiling. Thexton said they are nearly soundless compared to previous units. The project is expected to be completed on time, by the end of July. The installation of new fire-rated ceiling tiles will be completed according to schedule also.
Outside, new concrete will replace the final bit of asphalt hard surface that is part of the playground. Thexton is pleased with the results.