Jefferson construction ahead of schedule

December 6, 2018

DIXON – Students at Jefferson Elementary School could be playing dodgeball in the new gymnasium and eating lunch in the old one by the beginning of the next school year.

The Dixon School District has a 6-month head start on about $4 million of construction and improvements to the school at 800 Fourth Ave.

Kevin Schultz, the district’s director of building and grounds, said construction was expected to start next year in the spring, but an early start means the addition could be done as early as next school year.

“We were able to get most of the exterior work completed before the winter weather came around, including all of the below-grade work like laying the blacktop, installing storm sewers, the bus driveway and getting the roof up so we could work on the foundation before winter rolled around,” Schultz said.

The scope of the $3,981,342 project includes a new addition on the north end of the building with a gymnasium, four bathrooms, three storage rooms, a kitchen and an electrical and mechanical room.

“The project will address the school’s cramped cafeteria and gymnasium issue, that are just too small for the school,” he said.

The current cafeteria holds about 420 students across two lunch periods in a cramped 1,400 square-foot area, which is about the same size as four large shipping containers.

Once the new addition is completed, students will eat lunch in the old gymnasium, which is also getting a size upgrade from 4,022 square feet to 4,800 square feet.

Other work included in the cost but not in the new addition include installing geothermal wells to heat and cool the building, installing an elevator to meet Americans with Disabilities Act standards, removing asbestos across the school and turning the old kitchen into a teacher’s lounge and classroom.

“Everything we have done at the school is a joint collaboration,” Schultz said. “We are working with teachers, staff, administration and the board to meet our students needs, because this is for them.”

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