Metro-east school buildings get summer upgrades

News-DemocratJuly 13, 2013 

Local school districts are using summer break to improve their buildings.

After more than two years, a $27.4 million overhaul of East St. Louis Senior High School is nearing completion. The extensive project that involves approximately 172,545 square feet includes renovations, additions and upgrades to the existing school.

The renovations include a new gymnasium, revamping the auditorium, new student/visitor entry lobbies, classroom additions/upgrades, new library, cafeteria renovations, new science labs, a fine arts addition for band, vocal, dance and art classes, a fitness center, HVAC/sprinkler upgrades and new roofing systems.

The work being done by K&S Associates Inc. in St. Louis is expected to be completed by Sept. 7.

Mascoutah School District 19 also was busy working on a several different construction projects this summer totaling more than $2.5 million including preliminary work on a new $2 million administrative center.

Site work is currently underway at the 12,000 square-foot facility to be located at 421 Harnett St. in Mascoutah, just south of the middle school.

Korte Luitjohan Contractors Inc. of Highland is the contractor on the project. The facility was designed by district architect FGM of O'Fallon.

Work is scheduled to be completed by December, and the office is expected to be open for business by January.

District 19 Superintendent Craig Fiegel said the new facility will include offices for district administrative personnel, a 150-person capacity room for school board meetings, conference rooms and storage space.

"It's going to more than just district offices," he said. "It's going to be needed meeting space. During the school day when students are here, there just isn't space to have meetings."

The district has been renting office space at 622 S. Jefferson St. since January 2012. Fiegel said the rent at the district's current location continues to go up. The district currently pays more than $120,000 a year, he said.

The district is also renting additional storage space, because there's no adequate space to store the district's files at its current location, according to Fiegel.

Mascoutah School District also has other construction projects happening this summer including asbestos removal at Mascoutah Middle and Elementary schools at a cost of $126,000. The work is being done by CENPRO Services in Madison.

The district is spending $108,000 for Joiner Sheet Metal in Greenville to replace the roof at Mascoutah Elementary, and several classrooms are being renovated at the school. The classroom renovations being done by R&W Builders in Belleville are expected to cost $262,500.

Principal Randy Blakely said 12 classrooms and the offices for the nurse and social worker are being renovated, which includes new floors, new ceiling, and fresh paint.

Four bathrooms are also being remodeled in the kindergarten and third-grade hallways, according to Blakely. "They are getting all new fixtures and flooring," he said, "Everything is going to be really nice."

The work started June 3 and will be completed next month prior to the start of school on Aug. 12.

Mascoutah High School is getting upgraded lighting at its football stadium. All Purpose Erectors in Lebanon is doing the work for $104,035.

All work with the exception of the new administrative center will be completed before school starts next month.

Cahokia School District 187

Project: Replacing floor tiles and putting in drop ceilings at Elizabeth Morris Elementary, putting in drop ceilings at Huffman Elementary, and replacing the ceiling in the main gym at Cahokia High School.

Cost: $1.5 million to be covered by Health, Life and Safety funds, according to Superintendent Art Ryan.

Contractor: Korte Luitjohan Contractors Inc. of Highland

Completion date: Aug. 9

Harmony-Emge District 175

Project: Replacing antiquated heat piping that ran under the floors with ceiling lines; installing an updated HVAC system in a portion of Ellis Elementary School in Belleville; and replacing a large roof section.

Cost: $844,266 for HVAC and roof replacement to be covered by Health, Life and Safety funds, according to Superintendent Pam Leonard.

Contractor: Calhoun Construction in Belleville

Completion date: Prior to the start of school on Aug. 16

Belleville School District 118

Project: Work at Washington Elementary School including installing a new roof, new windows on the first floor and a new door in the front; tuckpointing and masonry work; and repairing a patio.

Cost: $412,000 to be paid for with Health, Life and Safety funds and the district's working cash, according to Assistant Superintendent Ryan Boike.

Contractor: The general contractor is Tremco. Roof work is being completed by Shay Roofing in Belleville, and the tuckpointing/masonry work is being done by James G. Staat Tuckpointing and Waterproofing in St. Louis.

Completion date: Aug. 2

Pontiac-William Holliday Dist. 105

Project: Phase three of a lighting project, which includes replacement of ceiling grids and tiles as well as installation of new lights that are more energy efficient at Pontiac Junior High School and William Holliday Elementary School in Fairview Heights. Superintendent Julie Brown said this project has been ongoing the last three summers.

Cost: $209,000

Contractor: Brase Construction Services Inc. in Troy

Completion date: July 22

Marissa District 40

Project: Asbestos removal in one bathroom, and floor removal and replacement in four bathrooms at Marissa Elementary School.

Cost: Asbestos removal will cost approximately $12,900, but the replacement cost for the new bathroom floors are still being determined, according to Superintendent Kevin Cogdill.

Contractor: To be awarded to the lowest bidder at Monday's school board meeting

Timline: Work to start July 22 and be completed by Aug. 14

Wolf Branch District 113

Project: Remodeling two bathrooms at Wolf Branch Elementary School in Swansea.

Cost: $17,000

Contractor: Prince Flooring and BEL-O Plumbing

Completion date: July 19

Contact reporter Jamie Forsythe at 239-2562 or

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