Gering High School construction continues
GERING — Construction continues at Gering High School, with plans to have the school open for the 2018-19 year.
Superintendent Bob Hastings said the work, being done by Hausmann Construction, is on schedule. The school broke ground in March of this year and will likely continue through late summer or fall 2019.
“I think things are progressing just like we expected them to,” Hastings said. “The big focus right now is making sure that the building is ready for school to begin on Aug. 23.”
The current plan is for teachers to return to work on Aug. 13 to prepare for the school year. Some work remains before the school can be opened. Part of the construction project involved installing fire sprinklers throughout the existing high school, requiring workers to pull down the drop ceilings and light fixtures. Workers will also have to replace the air conditioning and heating equipment and finish up electrical and plumbing work before the building can hold classes again, as well as ensuring that proper entrances and exits are open.
“Our maintenance and custodial staff is going to be gearing up in order to make sure the building is as clean and safe as is necessary for school to begin,” he said.
In addition to renovations throughout the existing building, Hastings said the new front offices should be open a few months into the school year.
“Those are areas we hope to be able to occupy around the first of October,” he said.
Construction on the school’s new kitchen and cafeteria/commons room will extend well into the school year and possibly the beginning of the 2019-20 school year. Construction will continue throughout the year, which Hastings said is unlikely to impact on the school’s learning environment.
“At the end of the school year, for about the last two months of school, it was an active construction zone around the school,” he said. “There’s some different procedures and practices that we have to take to adjust for the different routes through the building and different entrances and exits, but by and large the teaching and learning was not disturbed.”
Gering School District passed a $24 million bond in March 2017 for the construction. In addition to updating the school building, the project will renovate the auditorium seating, add an auxiliary gym, and build a new freshmen academy that would allow the high school to hold grades 9-12 in one location.