“We’re already looking to the end”
Construction is under way at four of the six Gunnison RE1J school sites as the district gets to work renovating and expanding its facilities and spending the $55 million voters approved last November.
Gunnison High School, Gunnison Community School, Lake Elementary (which also houses the district administration offices) and the Crested Butte Community School all have contractors from FCI Constructors Inc., the general contractor for the project, and subcontractors getting to work so most of the interior renovations and exterior expansion work can be done by the time students return to class next August.
The project that is furthest along is Lake Elementary School, where three of the school’s four expansion areas are already enclosed and getting the finishing touches before interior work begins.
“The one addition that they have not poured a slab for,” says Ethan Gibson, the district’s owner representative with the Blythe Group & Co., the firm overseeing the projects, “is the administrative area and that was done on purpose because [Superintendent Jon Nelson] told us that the administration [which has been temporarily relocated], is something that we can deal with, but certainly kids in school are something we can’t.”
At Gunnison High School, everything that will be moved back into the building in August is now in storage containers scattered around the school grounds. Contractors are working to remove all of the asbestos from the school.
The major renovation taking place at the Gunnison Community School is in the kitchen. Instead of having a fully functional cooking kitchen built at each site, all of the food for the schools in the city of Gunnison will be made in the new kitchen at the Community School
Gibson says the kitchen is currently a “mere shell of itself” as preparations are being made for work to be done under the concrete slab of the floor and eventual resurfacing. Contractors are also renovating the front entrance of the school. The foundation for an addition in the back of the school has already been poured.
The kitchen at the Crested Butte Community School is also a focus for contractors who are tearing out the old equipment to prepare the room for the new kitchen hardware, which has been ordered and will be delivered and installed before students return to school in August.
Contractors are doing dirt work on the grounds around the Community School to get the Tommy V field relocated and the foundation ready for the largest of the school’s three expansions, which will be around 45,000 square feet.
And in what might be the biggest move of the entire renovation project, the Crested Butte town barn was moved intact Tuesday, June 9 by semi across town to make room for the relocated Tommy V ball field.
Construction at the Marble Charter School and Gunnison Valley School is getting ready to start with a few details with contractors and permits to be worked out with each.
“Even though it appears that we’ve just started, we’re already looking to the end,” says Gibson. “We’re making sure we’re going to be able to have everything done and be out by the time the teachers have to come back to set up for the next semester in August.”