Delaware News

Renovations will continue through school year

Schultz, Hayes are first schools to benefit from construction

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Delaware students can expect no interruptions in their classes due to construction at district buildings this school year.

Renovations began this summer at Schultz Elementary School, and that work will continue through next summer.

Willow Run Lane and Applegate Lane have been connected to create a through street. Additional parking has been added in front of the building and will be available on the first day of school, Aug. 13.

Construction of two additions at Schultz -- the kindergarten section at the front of the school and a fifth-grade section adjacent to the school -- will continue through the school year.

Larry Davis, former district facilities and transportation director and current project manager, said students will have full access to the school and safe emergency exits during construction and will not be impacted in their day-to-day school activities.

Davis said construction generally has been smooth this summer, although in the heat of it, it was "one thing after another."

"When working in construction, you have to always be prepared for the unexpected. It's been a good summer, though," Davis said.

Superintendent Paul Craft said the district is working to make sure students are warm, safe and dry, even with the problems.

"While they were excavating, the equipment cut the electricity to the building," he said. "However, we are working to make sure that during school there will be as little disruption to education as possible."

Dempsey Middle School experienced some minor setbacks due to design and cost issues, and construction plans will not go out to bid until late December, district leaders said. Construction is set to begin in March.

The first phase of renovations at Hayes High School will begin with an addition to the Pennsylvania Avenue stadium and on West Lincoln Street.

Bidding went out July 23 and closes Aug. 14 for additions and improvements to the girls softball field, work inside the stadium and the addition of tennis courts

The district has begun preliminary design plans for the second phase and will submit them to the Delaware Planning Commission soon, leaders said.

Work at Carlisle and Conger elementary schools will begin concurrently at the beginning of next year. Plans and documentation will begin in September and will be completed by December, leaders said.

Voters approved a 3.6-mill bond issue in 2013 that secured funds for district facilities.

The district will bring in around $50 million over the four-year life of the bond to renovate its school buildings to accommodate increased enrollment. The money also will allow the elementary schools to house all fifth-grade students currently at Willis Intermediate School, bringing the district into traditional K-5 alignment.

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