While Brownwood school students enjoy their summer break, workers at some of their campuses are hard at work completing finals phases of the $29.4 million in renovations voters approved in 2005.
“Major renovations are under way this summer at Woodland Heights Elementary under an aggressive schedule,” Kevin Gabaree, assistant superintendent at the Brownwood Independent School District, said. “There’s a lot of work being done right now.”
Meanwhile, the summer projects at Brownwood High School are focused on the social studies, or 300 Wing, and administrative area and the tech wing that faces 10th Street.
“We fully expect to have the front entry and parking areas complete by the time school starts in August, weather permitting,” Gabaree said. “If the parking lots aren’t finished at the start of school, they will be close.”
The front facade and entry area of the high school is being completely transformed.
Some additional work will continue through the fall semester, but the comprehensive renovations at the high school are expected to be completed by January 2009.
At Woodland Heights Elementary, crews are racing the clock to have the school’s new front, its restrooms and administrative offices ready in time for the start of school.
“There will be some remodeling still under way when classes begin, but it won’t have any impact on instruction,” Gabaree said.
Improvements are being made to the elementary school’s back parking lot, and a new side parking lot is being added.
Roof work at Woodland Heights, whose cost is covered by insurance after storm damage, got under way on Tuesday.
“A big portion of that roof work will be completed by the start of school,” Gabaree said.
Roof work is under way at other campuses as well, all being done under insurance claims.
The projects at Woodland Heights and Brownwood High represent the last pieces of a sweeping plan that has improved and modernized each campus in the district.
“These are the final two facilities in the bond project, and it’s very encouraging to be at this stage,” Gabaree said.
Construction and materials costs have risen considerably since the cost estimates were calculated in late 2004 and early 2005 in time for the February 2005 bond election. But interest earnings have provided additional funds to offset some of that, although not all.
“We’ve had the fund balance available, and we’ve had to dip into that,” Gabaree said. “But doing so has made it possible to do all the projects that were promised in the bond package.”