One of the best lessons I learned as I was preparing to be come a superintendent was from my former superintendent Rich Bridenstine. Mr. Bridenstine would take routine trips around the district just to be out and about and see what was going on. He would call these “tours of the ‘kingdom'”. I have picked up on this routinely and daily, these days, drive around the District to see what is going on. Lately these trips have focused on the “mess” that is laying about the school property.
After a recent trip to check in on the progress of the projects, I was hit with the realization of how much we really took on this summer. Here is a short rundown of the improvements being made to our campus:
- New High School Gym Bleachers – Complete with handrails for assistance climbing up and down the bleachers at your next visit to an ELC event. This project should be completed on Friday, June 26.
- Recrowning of the the football field – Although it may look as though the football field lies flat, it actually is supposed to have a slight slope to it to drain off surface water. Over time this slope decreases and soil compaction can take place to the point where water begins to stand in the field. This was the case at our field and so the decision was made to recrown it while we had the track tore up. The field has been crowned to a 1% slope, new sprinklers have been put in and new sod will be laid soon.
- Track – Over the past several years we have patched our track as well as watched the track begin to heave in spots. This has been to the point where there are times it is unsafe for our runners to compete on the track. This summer the old track was pulled up, new grading and compaction was done as well as a new sub-base and track surface applied. This will be a complex we will be very proud of when done and a place to showcase for years to come.
- Asbestos Removal – To prepare for the remodel of the Demoney Elementary building we needed to take up asbestos tile in 18 different rooms as well as the west hall ways. This process will be completed by July 10 and the rooms will be back in place and ready for students by August 21. This process includes barricading off rooms where the tile is being removed as well as a constant monitoring of air quality while the removal is taking place. This removal is done by highly trained individuals and not by our staff members.
- Demoney Building Project – Along with all of the other projects taking place, we continue to progress on our Building project. The first set of classroom pods, located on the Northeast side of the building, are being prepared for the brick veneer to be put on. The gym floor has been pour and they are working on the Southeast pod of classrooms. All of the work is moving along as scheduled to this point.
All of these projects have made a bit of a mess on campus and without keeping the big picture in mind, it would be easy to get overwhelmed. However, with every visitor to my office, or conversation at the ball fields, or in the grocery store these projects are met with excitement from many of you. This excitement energizes and refocuses me on the quote “There is no progress unless you make a mess.” So until next time, I will Embrace the Mess!