Sunday, June 03, 2001

Schools won't get vacation

Lakota building additions

By Sue Kiesewetter
Enquirer Contributor

        WEST CHESTER TOWNSHIP — Just two days after classes end this week, bulldozers will replace students at Lakota East and West high schools.

        The bulldozers are scheduled to arrive Thursday to begin clearing land for additions at both schools and concrete locker rooms near the football stadiums. Those projects, plus more than $2.4 million in roof repair and replacement work, are among the first building improvements the district will undertake using money from a 6.74-mill combination levy that includes a $44.5 million bond issue.

        “We did accelerate the plan,” said Doug Lantz, Lakota's business director. “Being more aggressive will result in a savings to the district and we'll be able to enjoy the benefits.”

        In late March the school board authorized replacing 400-plus windows at Liberty and Hopewell elementary schools, refurbishing gymnasium floors at Liberty and Hopewell junior schools, performing electrical upgrades at Hopewell Elementary and doing paving work at five schools. The windows should be installed by October and roofs completed by year's end, Mr. Lantz said.

        Last week the Lakota Board of Education awarded contracts totaling more than $6.6 million to seven vendors, including $2.9 million to general contractor RE Schweitzer and $2.1 million to roofers Kelley and Carpenter.

        “It's going to get hectic here for the people involved,” Lakota spokesman Jon Weidlich said. “The work will provide more comfortable classrooms and long-lasting facilities. We'll do as much of the work as we can this summer when it's less intrusive” to education.

        A 61,000-square-foot, concrete-block locker facility will be constructed near the football stadium at each high school. Each will contain locker rooms for home and visiting teams along with offices for visiting officials. A paved driveway to the lockers also will be constructed to provide visiting teams direct access.

        Additions also are planned for both high schools. Classrooms will be added for music and science classes and the cafeterias will be expanded.

        Work will begin next month and should be completed by February. Later, technology labs will be added. That work should be finished in August 2002, Mr. Weidlich said.

        Roof work will be done at the freshman school, early childhood center, Liberty, Hopewell and Adena elementary schools and Hopewell and Liberty junior schools.


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