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You can check out a work in progress: Tours of Dixon High offered this weekend

August 2, 2018

DIXON – After nearly $20 million and 2 and a half months of work, officials are ready to give the public a sneak peek at Dixon High School renovations.

Administrators and Russell Construction will offer limited building tours to groups of 15 at a time every 10 minutes from 3 to 6 p.m. Saturday.

Participants are asked to drive through the alley at 412 W. Everett St., between the Illinois National Guard Armory and Ray’s Tires, park at the north end of the student lot near the cafeteria and enter through door 13.

As would be expected, some areas still are under construction, which is why the tours will be limited, but people won’t have to wear safety gear.

Still, the building will be in good enough shape to welcome back students and teachers Aug. 20.

Full tours of Dixon High and Washington Elementary, which is getting a new elevator, will be available once school has begun.

The work is part of ongoing efforts to bring DHS, Washington and Jefferson elementary schools up to code by completing health/life safety requirements. The work started about a year ago, will take 2 more years and will cost upward of $30 million.

It’s significantly less expensive than the $81 million needed to build a new high school, a plan voters rejected 2 years ago.

So far, DHS renovation is costing about $19.8 million, Jefferson, $4.7 million and Washington, $3.2 million, a total of $27.7 million. That jumps to $31.6 million when architect and construction management fees are added.

Work at the nearly 90-year-old high school will include installing a geothermal heating and cooling system, restoring exterior masonry, replacing windows, upgrading electrical and plumbing, installing drop-tile ceiling, removing asbestos, installing floors, upgrading intercoms, remodeling offices, and adding a secure vestibule.

Washington and Jefferson are getting geothermal heating and cooling, asbestos abatement, and new phones, and Jefferson also is getting a new gym.

Call the Dixon School District at 815-284-7722 for more information on the high school tour.

Afterward, people can attend the fourth annual Rockin’ on the Rock, from 6 to 11 p.m. on the Riverfront. There will be food, games, a beer garden, a 50-50 raffle and live music. Admission is free.

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