Foundations At Rcms Coming Soon

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Parents, students and residents will soon see foundation pads poured for two of the new buildings at Rim Country Middle School, said Tim Brand with PinnacleOne Consulting at a special school board meeting.

After 45 days of moving dirt and preparing the site for the new cafeteria and administration buildings, W.E. O'Neil Construction will pour the pads as soon as it get building permits from the Town of Payson -- scheduled for May 15. Once the pads are set, the company will begin putting up walls, said Brand.

"Crews are ready to dig foundations," he said.

Construction crews at Rim Country Middle School have relocated utility lines, prepared the sites for the new cafeteria and administration pads and are working to complete the new student drop-off before the next school year. At Julia Randall Elementary School the crews have put up security fencing, removed the old basketball court and removed the adjacent retaining wall.

Brand said both projects are proceeding on schedule despite minor problems, such as relocating utility lines.

He said the delays didn't affect the overall schedule and the project is still on time.

The problem with relocating utility lines might have been a blessing in disguise, according to Henry Halikowski with PinnacleOne.

"We are trying to replace as much of the old copper wire (infrastructure) as we can with fiber optics to avoid problems from lightning strikes," he said.

A large granite outcropping crews hit while digging at RCMS caused another delay. Blasting had to be used to reduce the outcropping enough for removal.

If all goes well, crews should be able to proceed quickly starting in July and complete the new student drop-off and pick-up area by the beginning of the 2008-2009 school year.

Construction progress hasn't been limited to the middle school.

Michael Marr, senior project manager for W.E O'Neil, gave a brief report on the bond project at Julia Randall Elementary School.

Security fencing has been up at the school for about a month, but construction crews only began site preparation within the last two weeks because of concerns about disturbing students during AIMS testing.

He said since they began working, crews have broken up and taken away the old basketball court and trees slated for removal.

District Director of Maintenance and Transportation Todd Poer also chimed in on the progress reports with some potentially good news.

Poer said the district might be able to recoup some off the cost of its bond projects through salvage.

He said the district can sell items like HVAC units -- heating and cooling -- removed from buildings slated for demolition.

He said items like smart boards, almost new door handles and other smaller items could be salvaged and reused in construction projects almost immediately.

Poer said he would like to have locks installed on all district classrooms, allowing teachers to lock classroom doors from the inside.

"Some locks on the doors right now require teachers to lock them from the outside," Poer said.

In other business, Poer asked the board to consider purchasing two or three new buses a year until the entire fleet could be replaced.

"The average age of our buses is 10 years old, we really need to think about replacing them before they start wearing out," he said.

He also said he would like to see a camera surveillance system on district buses as well as resurfacing of basketball and volleyball courts at Payson Elementary School, and a bigger playground area for kindergartners at Frontier Elementary School.

In other action, the board unanimously approved travel requests for three school sports-related events, a Reading Foundations Conference in Phoenix and a youth summit in Tucson.

The board unanimously approved hiring Denise Camp as a special education English teacher at Payson High School, and Christie Varner as a substitute teacher for the district.

The board also unanimously approved hiring Stephanie Shields as the Payson High School attendance secretary and Richard Handle as a substitute custodian for the district.

The board met Tuesday, April 28.

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