The start of the school year is just five weeks away, and multiple schools under construction or renovation are shaping up as crews work around the clock to finish.

“Everything will  be tidied up and ready,” said Dwayne Ellison, Scott County Schools’ director of maintenance. “All the crews have a plan to get things done on time.”

While walking through Eastern Elementary School, which is getting a new HVAC system as part of the district’s Guaranteed Energy Savings Contract with Trane, Ellison said it may not look like work will be done by the time schools open on Aug. 21, but those looks are deceiving.

“I know it looks like a train wreck in here, but next week the ceiling and tiles will start going in,” he said as he looked up at new ductwork and a sprinkler system that is being installed. “Our hope is that by the first of August, we will turn the school back over to the staff and be out of here except for some punch list items.”

At the new schools, Great Crossing High School and Creekside Elementary, Ellison said furniture is in the classrooms and they are well on their way to finishing up.

“Creekside is probably 95 percent done with a little bit of cleaning to do,” he said. “At Great Crossing, the furniture is going in. There are some areas that aren’t quite ready like putting in the bleachers and the gym floor, but classrooms will be ready.”

The addition at Georgetown Middle is also coming along, as the elevator should be installed soon and some painting is being done.

“There will be some things we’ll be finishing up as we get closer, like cleaning and some painting, but mainly it will be punch list items to close out the projects.”

Work at the Great Crossing athletic complex has left some teams looking for other places to start fall practice, but Ellison said a lot of that has to do with the paving that has to be done.

“The football field is done, the soccer field is done. Paving the parking lot is what’s left, but you can’t do that until the fields are in because you don’t want heavy trucks driving, tearing up the new parking lots,” he said. “We’ve had to relocate some teams, like volleyball, so they can start practice. Give us a month and they will have all new fields to practice on.”

The project at Eastern Elementary involved a new HVAC system and digging new geothermal wells to supply the system. Ellison said the old system involved consoles on the wall, many of which were leaking and inefficient.

“The old system sent the air across the room from the wall, so by the time it got to the other side, only about a third of it was reaching the students on the other side,” he said. “This new system comes from the ceiling so everyone will be able to feel the cool or heat depending on the time of year.”

There is also work ongoing at Garth Elementary for a new cooling tower and at Scott County High School.

“These crews have been great. They have been working nights and weekends to make sure everything is done,” Ellison said. “They have a reputation to uphold on getting the project done on time too.”

Steve MCClain can be reached at smcclain@news-graphic.com.

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