Eisenhower renovations ‘going good’

It’s out with the old and in with the new at Eisenhower.

Renovations are progressing at Eisenhower Middle/High School in preparation for conversion into a K-12 facility.

A portion of the building is shut down while workers tear out old materials and update the facility.

“So far everything is going good and all the contractors are working together,” Director of Building and Grounds Services Norbert Kennerknecht said on Wednesday. “We’re in the process of finalizing a schedule (between contractors). We’re very happy with our contractors and everything’s marching along.”

Partitions separating classrooms have been ripped out to leave room for installation of new materials and infrastructure.

Gone are galvanized metal work and aging copper pipes, replaced with new materials installed according to modern standards. Aging conduits are giving way to in-ceiling cable trays, or, in the case of wireless networks, no physical connections at all.

Underlying structures done with “speed tile”, obsolete for more than two decades, are being replaced.

Work is far from complete at Eisenhower, where work lights temporarily provide illumination in both occupied and unoccupied sections of the school.

Old exterior walls are awaiting conversion to interior corridors as additions are put on and a small stage is set to be torn out to make way for the new kitchen. Meanwhile, the old kitchen, which will remain in use until the new one is operational, will eventually be made a part of the cafeteria.

Windows await replacement in walls original construction didn’t include insulation in.

Outdated heating units will face the scrap heap as new, more energy efficient and economical solutions are ready to be installed.

Excavation for additions of a new bus loop and elementary area are underway, anticipating when true work on the additions will begin.

Even the scoreboard at the football field has been taken down. It awaits movement to the other end of the field.

All of this is occurring while classes continue in divided rooms, module buildings and even an auditorium partitioned into six classrooms and all according to OSHA regulations.

“It’s just like the school district,” Kennerknecht said. “There’s a law covering everything.”

He went on to stress the project is a group effort.

“The teachers and students have been great through this whole thing,” Kennerknecht said. “I really appreciate what the board is doing. All this work has been needed for years. Farmington Township has been very cooperative in helping us get this thing started. I understand it’s been an inconvenience. It’s not the district’s project, or the teachers’ project. It’s everybody’s project. If we all work together it’ll be worth it in the end.”

Work at Eisenhower is projected to be completed in August 2014.