By Linus Weimer
You see them every day at school but you don’t know their names. In fact, you don’t know anything about them at all.
According to Tyce Stebbins, Director of Building and Grounds / Project Manager, there are multiple different contractors. These include the demolition crew, general contractor, a company that purchases the lockers and one that sets the lockers, drywalling, floor prep and tile laying, electricians, plumbers, carpenters, painters, and special contractors (glass, finishes, and doors, etc.). The school normally hires in-state contractors and there are two or three local contractors that are working on these projects.
These projects include a new fitness center, lockers, the learning stairs, the commons area remodeling, and the old weight room remodeling.
According to Stebbins, the learning stairs, lockers, and commons area remodel should be done around Dec. 15, 2020. The new fitness center should be finished around July 21, 2021. And lastly the old weight room being converted into a new girls’ varsity locker room should be done by Sept. 16, 2021.
The contractors work mostly between 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Their pay ranges from about $15 to $30 per hour and they typically work 40 hours per week.
Every now and then it storms or snows, and these are some of the conditions that cause outdoor construction to be put to a pause. Those days are called “loss days.” There have been five loss days due to rain and possibly more to come.
Just like students, contractors sometimes find school to be challenging. The contractors have to be careful when doing construction inside of schools because of the noise and environment. They can’t work too loudly because it will disturb the classes.
The contractors have to take care of the environment of the school. They must clean up dust, trash, and their tools as well. Sometimes when school is not in session, the contractors are allowed to bring in food and drinks, but they must follow the school rules. They are also not allowed to have any type of tobacco inside the building or outside since they are working in a school area.
The layout of the lockers is well thought out, but is a challenge. Stebbins stated, “The teachers want to be able to see over the lockers so that they can see where the students are.”
He also said, “Even though the lockers are short they are deep. Students can fit things like their backpack and possibly their sports equipment.”
The reason why the layout of the lockers is that way is because the school wants to fit in as many lockers as they could.
“These contractors take a lot of pride in their work, and they take more pride if it’s more unique. This is a really proud group. The contractors would say it’s pretty neat to have if they were in school,” Stebbins said.
Work is sometimes slowed because factories close, limiting the amount of products that are being distributed. “Many production facilities and the supply chain itself were shut down or at low production levels from March until now,” Stebbins said.
Lumber is one of the limiting factors because most of the lumber is sent down from Canada and they have a strict border control. According to Stebbins, there is a material shortage and wood products are some of the most affected types of material.
Due to economic changes not many jobs are being posted. Stebbins says, “It is true that there are not a lot of new construction projects that are going to bid right now, and that includes the near future. 2021 could be a slow year for the industry.”