Remodel Of High School 'Old Main' To Start In December

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The remodeling of the 40-year-old Payson High "old main" building is expected to disrupt the every-day workings of the school for more than a semester.

"It's going to be quite disruptive, there's no doubt about it," PHS principal Roy Sandoval said. "The entire main building will be fenced in and shipments of construction materials will come through the campus.

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Sue Myers, Payson Unified School District superintendent

"Teachers will be without classrooms and administrators will be in mobile trailers brought in for them."

Without the classrooms, Sandoval will assign alternate teaching sites to faculty members.

"We'll have teachers in every nook and cranny in the school," he said. "For example, in the library we'll have a physics class on one side and a physical science class on the other.

"We'll also have in there a blind student being taught and Abigail Pederson doing counseling."

As unsettling as the remodeling will be, Sandoval is confident it is well worth the sacrifices that will be asked of students and teachers.

"The end justifies the means," he said. "The remodeling is long overdue."

Superintendent Sue Myers agrees, "The remodeling is much needed, the place is a mess.

"It is a challenge, but there are leaks, mold issues and other problems that needed to be corrected."

In preparation for the upcoming project, Sandoval met last week with representatives of the BMJS Construction Company that was awarded the $1,654,338 contract to revamp the school.

"We think we have a good plan of how to carry this out," Sandoval said. "They will start bringing in their equipment at the end of December and by Jan. 2 should begin tearing down."

Plans are for the construction to be completed Aug. 1, but the exact completion date depends on a variety of factors, including weather.

"We'll have to have good winter and spring weather, and get all the breaks to be done by August," Sandoval said.

The principal predicts that if the contractor experiences any weather delays, the project might not be finished until the district's fall break in October 2006.

The remodeling of old main will include a new roof, improved heating and air conditioning, construction of a centrally located reception area, updating three science classrooms and new offices to house administrators, their secretaries and the school resource officer.

In addition to rendering the building safer and more comfortable, improvements are also expected to make the building more contemporary.

"It'll look more like a high school than it does now," Myers said.

The entire project is being funded by a $2 million interest-free Qualified Zone Academy Bond loan that Associate Superintendent Bobette Sylvester was able to acquire in 2004.

Obtaining the QZAB loan, rather than using traditional funding, will save the district more than $300,000 in interest over the next five years, Sylvester said.

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