School addition is visible, progressing

Photos by Candy Neal/The Herald
The addition to the Northeast Dubois Junior-Senior High School, which will house a gym and weight room, is well underway and noticeable. Some of the grassy area that is being used to hold materials for the project (in the foreground) will eventually become additional parking spaces for the school.


DUBOIS — The new Northeast Dubois Junior-Senior High School addition and its construction site are taking more parking spaces than the public had expected.

That has led several people to call the school district office with concerns.

“With the area of parking spaces the new gym and weight room are taking up, we’re losing some parking spots with this addition,” Superintendent Bill Hochgesang said.

The loss is about 30 spaces. But additional parking will be added elsewhere to make up for the loss, he said.

“As you turn in to to go to the junior-senior high, along the driveway there are 30 parking spaces on the right. We’re going to duplicate that and add 30 spaces on the left as well,” Hochgesang said. “We have a quote, so that is a part of the project. That is pretty much going to equalize what we will lose.”

That area of the future spaces is now grass. It is being used to hold building construction materials like concrete. blocks, bricks and piping.

The work currently happening at the junior-senior high school includes constructing a new gym and weight room and renovating the areas around the current gym and the main entrance. This follows work that has been done to create a seventh- and eighth-grade wing at the high school that connects to the industrial technology and art classrooms via an additional hallway, as well as upgrades to science labs and career and industrial tech areas that will be shared between high school and seventh- and eighth-grade classes.

Some of the grassy area near Northeast Dubois Junior-Senior High School is being used to hold materials for the construction work being done at the school. The grass will eventuality be converted into paved parking spaces for the school.

The renovations are part of the schools' restructuring, which included renaming the school buildings: Northeast Dubois Junior-Senior High School. The middle school and elementary schools were renamed, Northeast Dubois Intermediate School and Northeast Dubois Elementary. In the process, Celestine Elementary was closed and those students were moved to Northeast Dubois Elementary.

Another parking concern expressed to the district was that the area that is fenced in as the construction area is taking up more than the 30 spaces. “It’s taking up a majority of the front parking lot,” Hochgesang said. “But we can’t avoid that right now. It has to be done for safety reasons. It’s the safety rules for how far they have to go outside the working area.”

There is an open pathway on the exterior from one end of the building to the other, to comply with fire and safety codes, said Gary Bair, clerk of the works. Bair is overseeing the construction progress.

When the construction work is done and the new parking spaces are installed, the amount of parking will be assessed again, Hochgesang told the school board.

Bair gave the Northeast Dubois School Board members an update on the progress at their meeting this week.

“We’ve been progressing over the last several weeks, pretty aggressively,” he said. “Hopefully weather will permit us to continue in that direction and we don’t have any major supplier hiccups.”

The bleachers have been installed in the gym and practices and games are taking place. One of the gym walls is currently a different color than the others because the wall is covered with primer, he explained. That wall coloring is being discussed, Bair said.

The exterior painting is 50% done. “That’s being done on weekends, Saturdays and Sundays,” Bair said. “And we have to adjust somewhat with sporting events going on, because of all the spraying.”

Block laying is being done and should be completed in about 10 working days, weather permitting, Bair said. Brick laying will follow that, he said. On Monday, work crews will start pouring the steps and flooring on east end of the addition, where the new offices will be located, he said.

Poles are set and plumbing and electrical work is being done in the current building, where the new bathrooms and training rooms will be located.

There will be a delay in receiving roof insulation. “It looks like it will be October before we see that,” Bair said. “That will delay the installation of the roofing throughout the whole project. We looked for alternatives, but could not come up with anything because it has to be of certain specifications for that insulation.”

But there is plenty of work to complete before that, he said. All construction work is still on schedule to be done by mid- to late March.

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