Grandview Heights Schools’ facilities project remains on schedule and on budget despite the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic – and some rainy weather, too.
“The governor has deemed construction work to be essential, so the work is continuing,” Superintendent Andy Culp said. “We’re making sure that everyone on-site is staying 6 feet apart and doing their work safely.”
The work taking place now near Grandview Heights High School is part of a three-phase, $55.2 million project to replace Edison Intermediate/Larson Middle School and substantially renovate the high school, among other work.
The project is funded by a bond issue approved by voters in 2018.
The selective demolition work that originally had been scheduled to take place over three weekends in March was completed ahead of schedule, project superintendent Chris Tyo said.
“With students out of school, we didn’t have to worry about disrupting their classes, so we could get some of the work done during the week,” he said.
A small portion of the high school on the west side of the building near the gym, including an industrial-technology classroom and a science-class greenhouse on the second floor, was razed to provide space for a connector leading from the high school to the planned grades 4-8 school that will replace Edison/Larson.
The activity completed since the project began in early February has included underground utility preparation, the selective demolition and the installation of a student walkway on Oakland Avenue, Tyo said.
With students away and not using the walkway, it’s been easier for construction vehicles to get in and out of the site, he said.
Five days of work were lost in March due to rain, but that was not unexpected, Tyo said.
“Spring’s a tough time to start a construction project,” he said. “We planned for four days of rain in our schedule, so we were only one day over that. The rain caused some soft soil conditions that caused a little bit of a delay.”
So far, the pandemic has not caused a disruption of the supply of materials needed for the project, Tyo said.
Many materials already had been ordered and in the pipeline before the pandemic hit, he said.
“It’s hard to predict what’s going to happen,” Culp said. “We just have to take a wait-and-see approach.”
Work on laying the foundation for the new building is expected to begin in the early part of April, Tyo said.
It’s expected that steel beams will begin to be installed for the new building by early June, he said.
The first phase of the project will involve construction of a new grade 4-8 building in the area between the current Edison/Larson building and the high school.
The connector that will be built between the high school and the new building will include a kitchen to serve separate cafeterias for the 4-8 building and high school. The second floor of the connector will house the district’s administrative offices.
The construction of the new 4-8 building is expected to be completed in July 2021.
The second phase of the project will involve a major renovation of the high school. During that phase, which is expected to last from summer 2021 through January 2023, high school students will attend class in the new building and students in grades 4-8 will remain in the existing Edison/Larson building.
High school students are set to move back into their regular building in January 2023 and the grade 4-8 students then would move into their new building.
The third phase of the project will involve demolition of the old Edison/Larson building and site restoration.