TURBOTVILLE — As he stood on the sidewalk in front of the Warrior Run Middle School watching an excavator move earth in the area where the school’s driveway and parking spots were located, Superintendent Dr. Alan Hack noted that a project taking place this summer is one of the most significant ones to have occurred in recent years in the district.
In May, the school board approved Watson Excavating to complete a paving project at the middle and high school complex, at a cost of $524,440. Hack noted that the final cost of the project will be determined based on any change orders which may be filed as the project moves forward.
“The primary purpose of the project will address stormwater issues in front of the middle and high schools,” Hack said.
He noted that the issues caused deterioration of the pavement, primarily in front of the middle school, over the years.
Recently, he said the freeze-thaw cycle, standing water and the lack of a subbase in the parking lot compromised the pavement, causing it to break and peel away.
“The project will provide additional parking in front of the middle school, additional designated handicapped and visitor parking, as well as a separation between the parking lot and the loading and unloading zone,” Hack said.
Gary Williams, the district’s supervisor of Buildings and Grounds, said the separation will be in the form of a sidewalk.
At the beginning and ending of the school day, busses will use the lane of travel closest to the middle school. On the opposite side of the new sidewalk, cars will be able to travel to parking spaces.
In addition to alleviating traffic congestion, Williams said the new traffic pattern will make it easier for emergency vehicles to access the school if there is a problem in the afternoon when busses are parked for dismissal.
Williams said the work will result in the flag pole being relocated to an area near the sign board in front of the school. He also noted that new LED lights will be added to the front of the middle school.
While work on the parking lots will be ongoing throughout the summer, Williams said the project will be wrapped up prior to the first day of school, on Aug. 22.
In addition to the work on the parking lot, the high school gymnasium now has a new look. A $184,300 gym renovation project recently wrapped up.
Mastercraft Sports Flooring was awarded a $29,300 contract to sand, repair and refinish the gym floor.
New bleachers, costing $87,787, were purchased from and installed by C.M. Eichenlaub Co. The company also installed new wall padding and a divider curtain, which replaced an aging divider wall.
“Outside of repainting, decades have gone by since anything had been done to the high school gym,” Hack said. “The gym floor looks practically brand new, and includes the updated Warrior Run logo used for athletics.”
He credited Joel Ryder, a high school art teacher, with designing the new logo.
Williams said the new bleachers can automatically extend with the push of the button. By contrast, the old bleachers had to be extended manually by staff members.
“The big concern (with the old bleachers) was they didn’t meet the modern safety standards,” Williams said.
Hack said the district is looking for $10,000 in sponsorship from the community in order to purchase new scoreboards for the gym.
He noted that the addition of new scoreboards and a sound system would make the gym best suited to host athletic events.
Athletic Director Nate Butler said there is an old scoreboard in place which could be used if needed. Since the renovations occurred, he said the gym is capable of hosting athletic events.
He also said a sense of pride is evident by students and coaches who have seen the renovated gym.
“When you scheduled practices, kids and the coaches said ‘do we get the good gym or the bad gym?’” Butler said. “Now, coaches and kids, they want to be in the (high school) gym.”
He said past Warrior Run graduates would often state, prior to the renovations, that the gym looked the same as when they were in school years prior.
“If you just (replaced) the bleachers, I think people would’ve been ecstatic,” Butler said, adding that all of the renovations have greatly enhanced the facility.
In the past, he said the condition of the bleachers meant any assemblies had to be held in the middle school, rather than the high school. That caused a disruption to middle school gym classes.
Now, he said high school assemblies can be held in the school’s gym, rather than the middle school.
Butler expressed thanks to everyone within the school district who was involved with the renovations.
“I’m very grateful to the school district,” he said.
Businesses or individuals interested in sponsoring the purchase of scoreboards should contact the district at 570-649-5138.
Staff writer Kevin Mertz can be reached at 570-742-9671 or email email@example.com.