Enterprise school board, teachers and staff to prioritize $300,000 in remaining bond funds

A solitary student approaches the steps at the newly refurbished Enterprise Middle School.

Enterprise Superintendent of Schools Brad Royse expects to have $300,000 left over when all bills are paid on the $2.4 million renovation project approved by District 21 voters in May 2002. If that's the case, he will sit down with the school board and develop a priority list on what additional improvements should be made. Teachers and staff are already making lists, said Royse.

An estimated 75 percent of the improvements to date have been made on the exterior of the school buildings, especially on the stucco walls and the roofing. Every building, including the main gymnasium, has received a new roof.

"Instead of an institution, it now looks like a school," says the superintendent who has received a bevy of compliments from members of the community and from students.

With 90 to 95 percent of the work completed Royse says he is "sweating it out" as to whether or not, including cleanup, work will be completed by the time an open house for district patrons is held Friday, Oct. 24. He hopes to complete signing off on the entire project with general contractor WC Construction of Elgin by Oct. 29.

Slowing that process are negotiations with insurance provider Northland Insurance Company of Seattle which is dickering with the school over damages reported when an uncovered roof sustained rain damage last summer. As reported at the Oct. 6 school board meeting, the two were $13,000 apart in their negotiations.

Flashing around the edges of the new roofs is probably the most noticeable element of the remodel that still lacks completion. Other aspects to be worked on during the final days of the project include roofing, windows and glass work, some paving near the multipurpose room, finishing touches in the bathrooms and "a lot of cleanup."

Bathrooms in every building and on every floor, said Royse, are now compliant with the American Disability Act (ADA). ADA-compliant ramps have also been installed.

Immediately noticeable from the outside are improvements to the front face of the middle school, where large columns have been restored and the steps have received a new coat of concrete. New covered walkways with solid supports are now situated in front of the high school, the gymnasium, the southern end of the middle school and the eastern end of the primary building.

Royse said that three new air-handler systems have been installed to help circulate air in the middle school and primary school. He said that new electrical and lighting work has been completed as well.

More than 40 change orders were approved during the course of a project that began in early June when school let out for the summer. The improvements were made with the intent of increasing the longevity of the school another 20 years.

During the open house scheduled 3-5 p.m. Friday, Oct. 24, high school students will be conducting tours of the facilities. Free hot dogs and beverages will be given to patrons to help thank the community for voting in the project.

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