No real hiccups for school projects

Last month's storm damage to a safe room (background right) being built has not only been repaired but work at the site of a new elementary school in Pauls Valley includes the start of one wing to the future building. (PV Democrat photo)

Not even a powerful storm can put a real hiccup in plans for a number of school projects to go up fairly soon in Pauls Valley.

Those projects that include the construction of a brand new elementary school were at the center of recent discussions by local school officials.

Superintendent Mike Martin told all five school board members a storm last month packing winds around 100 mph did result in some damage but only slightly slowed the progress of the new school’s gym that when finished will double as a safe room.

The good news is some fortunate timing means the $80,000 worth of damage sustained by the high winds is completely covered by an insurance policy as the project on the west side of town is moving along nicely.

“You can drive by and you can see it,” Martin said about the progress of the work.

“You can see that the north wing is going up.”

As for the safe room, he says the storm hitting Pauls Valley and many towns in Garvin County in the early morning hours of June 19 only blew down down some of the forms made of foam reinforced by steel bars.

“The concrete was scheduled to be poured on Thursday,” he said about the forms as the storm struck just one day earlier.

Both Martin and board member David Assad, who has decades of experience in the construction industry, said there wouldn’t have been any real damage had the concrete been poured before the storm.

“If the walls had been poured it wouldn’t have blown away,” Martin said during the recent regular school board meeting.

Timing was also on the local school district’s side as a builder’s risk policy meant to insure the materials during the construction phase was acquired just six days before the damaging storm.

The new school to house Pauls Valley students prekindergarten through the third grade when completed isn’t the only project included in a bond issue providing the funding.

Others being grouped together for a kind of phase two are for projects at the PV High School campus.

They include a new agriculture education classroom, band building and improvements at the gymnasium where the Panthers take the court.

“They’re finishing up the documents for the project,” Martin said about the ag classroom.

He says more could also be more done in the gym than first believed.

“We’ll be able to do more in there than I originally thought,” he said, adding that could include a complete renovation of gym restrooms and new windows.

“They’ll scrape that ceiling with the popcorn material that keeps falling down now. We’ll paint that black when it’s done. We’ll look at the seating on the home side.”

Right now plans are to hold a bid opening in the fall for all three of the projects.

“They thought we could save some money be bidding those three together,” the superintendent said about an architect and construction manager. “We’ll see when we get to it.”

Although not part of the bond issue, a date of Aug. 7 has been set to begin a renovation of the school’s softball field.

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