As Carson City students return to school, they’ll see construction zones

Laptops for a new computer lab at Mark Twain Elementary School are organized in a classroom on Wednesday.

Laptops for a new computer lab at Mark Twain Elementary School are organized in a classroom on Wednesday.

Many Carson City students will be navigating construction zones as they return to classes Monday.

Delays in permits and other processes mean most schools are in the beginning phases of construction or have yet to begin work on creating secure entrances at every site.

“It will be inconvenient,” said Carson City School District Superintendent Richard Stokes. “But we expect after the projects have been completed, it will be a good addition to the school district and to each site where we have this single point of entry, which we believe will be a good way to increase school safety.”

Funds from the 2010 rollover bond were committed to creating single-point entryways at every school in the district in an effort to make them more secure. However, the decision wasn’t made until April, putting workers in a time crunch, said Keith Shaffer, projects manager for the district.

While they had hoped to be further along by now, he said, most projects aren’t expected to be finished until January.

“There are some statutory requirements for contractors to get subcontractors,” he said. “There are new laws with that, so that’s the reason for the delay.”

As schools have been remodeled through previous bond issues, controlled-entry systems in which all exterior doors are locked from the outside typically have been installed. Only one door remains open, leading to a locked vestibule where visitors must check in with the front office. Once visitors are approved, office staffers buzz them through the second door, giving them access to the school.

Similar systems are planned at all remaining schools: Carson and Pioneer high schools and Bordewich-Bray, Fritsch, Mark Twain and Fremont elementary schools.

As the entrances are built, construction will take place before and after school hours, Stokes said.

“Construction will be on a swing shift so there’s not a conflict with having a conducive environment for learning,” he said.

Construction won’t begin at Bordewich-Bray until about October, Shaffer said. Once it’s complete, the library will become the school’s front office. The entrance will be moved from the south side to the north side, off King Street.

To prepare for the transition, the library has been moved to a portable building.

Shaffer said the office should be complete by January; then the current office will be remodeled to house the library.

The improvements at Pioneer High School will be part of a larger remodel there, redirecting the main entrance to Corbett Street. Work will begin soon on improvements to the sidewalk along Park Street to make it compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act, Shaffer said.

Parents and visitors to Fritsch Elementary School will be directed to a temporary front office in Building A while the secure entrance is being built, Shaffer said. He expects that to be complete by October; then work with begin on the second phase of construction there to create enclosed corridors to connect the buildings.

“Once that’s complete, the kids will be all under cover from one building to the next on that campus,” Shaffer said.

Entrances at Carson High School and Fremont and Mark Twain elementary schools will remain the same; however, students and visitors will be routed around construction by temporary walls and fencing.

“We’ll have adequate signage,” Stokes said. “We’ll have clearly defined walkways and will continue to work with our contractors to make sure that not only our students but parents and other visitors will have a safe path.”

The cost for the security improvements is estimated at $3.15 million of the $5.65 million left over from the $25 million first phase of the bond, the bulk of which went to the remodeling Eagle Valley Middle and Empire Elementary schools.


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