School renovations nearing completion

Published 8:29 pm Friday, June 21, 2013

Joe Dennis’ crew paint the walls inside the former Jemison Middle building Friday. The building will be open in August.

Joe Dennis’ crew paint the walls inside the former Jemison Middle building Friday. The building will be open in August.

Chilton County Schools maintenance supervisor Wayne Howell and his department will stay busy the next two months finishing projects at Jemison High and Maplesville High, while answering maintenance requests for other schools as needed.

With the first day of school set for Aug. 19, Howell said the first two projects—renovations to the old Jemison Middle School building and completion of the Maplesville High band and P.E. facility—will be finished before students return.

Renovations on the former JMS building began in May, and Howell said the building could be finished “in three more weeks.”

“It’s going to be good,” Howell said of the building. “We appreciate the [Board of Education] working with us on it and getting it back in shape to use.”

After sitting empty for four years, the brick building is receiving interior renovations including new floors, new doors, wall repairs, electrical wiring and paint in order to provide JHS with 10 additional classrooms the school must have to avoid overcrowding in the fall.

The classrooms could also be used as teacher workrooms, offices and storage areas.

Howell appointed subcontractor Joe Dennis and his crew to paint all of the interior walls and expect them to finish in the next few days.

Replacing the tile flooring is next on Howell’s to-do list, along with electrical upgrades, re-connecting the bell system, replacing white boards and heating and cooling adjustments.

“It’s really nice when we get through—just a nice, clean environment for them to start back to school in,” Howell said.

The Chilton County Board of Education approved on May 21 to commit $160,000 to the project.

The building is located on the JHS campus and adjoins another building that is currently in use.

After middle school grades 5–7 were transferred to the new JMS facility near Jemison Elementary four years ago, a partition was installed in the former JMS building’s hallway to block access to it while it was closed.

The partition will be removed to reconnect the two buildings.

All eighth grade classes will be housed in the renovated building, as will the agriscience department.

The 50-by-60-foot multifunctional facility at Maplesville High lacks only plumbing, electrical wiring, paint on the sheetrock inside and air conditioning units.

After the facility passed a state building inspection, Howell and his crew were allowed to take over the remainder of the project to complete the interior.

The whole project, including interior and exterior costs, is estimated to cost about $175,000.

The facility will accommodate the school’s band and P.E. classes.

Howell said plumbing and electrical work would start next week.

Repairing the portico at the Central Office last week is an example of emergency maintenance requests Howell’s department receives periodically.

Howell said the wood was rotting and falling, so his crew installed a new support beam and affixed vinyl to the portico to prevent it from collapsing and potentially harming someone walking in or out of the building.

“We got it fixed where it won’t be falling,” Howell said. “We just have to do the best we can from one place to another.”