“We’re probably going to start putting slab in next week (and) continuing masonry,” site superintendent Carl Ericson said.
However, an exact completion date is not as solid as the building’s recently poured concrete footprint.
“I have an idea when I would like to be done, but it depends on the winter weather,” Ericson said.
The ultimate goal is to have the project completed before the end of the school year, so that the stage can be used for graduation.
The 5,734-square-foot room will be quite different from the gym it is replacing. While the width of the gym is remaining the same, the length is being increased by 16 feet. The stage will be at the opposite end with the existing stage converted into storage space. This larger gym will also feature motorized bleachers on both sides of the gym, rather than the old stationary bleachers that lined one wall.
Other modifications include making the new stage handicapped accessible, a rubberized floor and providing office space for the physical education teacher.
“I hope to be doing that (inside work) during Christmas break,” Ericson said.
Cason Conn of Tri-Con said the company is handling mostly what is being covered by insurance; the other projects will be bid out.
The reconstruction of the gym after the tornadoes of April has been a long process as the construction company waited for a building permit, and worked with the insurance company.
“The second we got a building permit we started,” Conn said.
That was Nov. 7.
In order to rebuild the gym, the two outer walls were demolished. Conn said the majority of this demolition was done over a weekend, so students would not be present. Demolition started on Nov. 11, according to Ericson.
Since two walls had to be torn down anyway, the Bradley Board of Education voted to take the opportunity to expand the gym and make it more accessible to the handicapped.
A main focus throughout the project is keeping construction from interrupting everyday school operations, according to Conn. This has been done by scheduling the loudest and more involved work for the weekends or school breaks. Conn said the schedule has worked out well.