Building work begins in Gower schools
School is out, but it’s a busy summer in the Gower District 62 schools.
“Right now, we’re in the design stage,” Superintendent Steve Griesbach said of the building and renovation projects made possible by an April referendum vote, when Gower voters agreed to issue $9 million worth of bonds to pay for improvements to both schools.
And while the School Board searches for the right construction manager to see the project through, other work, including renovation of the Gower West gymnasium, is under way.
“We received a grant through Sen. (Jim) Durkin’s office, which is paying for most of the work,” Griesbach said.
The $250,000 grant not only will pay for a new floor, lighting and new paint in the elementary gym, it also will pay for an interactive white board at the middle school and a new sign outside Gower Middle.
“The masonry is crumbling on it,” Griesbach said. The replacement, which will include an electronic message board, will cost about $30,000.
“The remaining $60,000 will be used next summer,” he said, to upgrade the wireless networks at both buildings.
Meanwhile, the School Board will begin interviewing potential construction managers on July 2.
“A construction manager is employed by us and is paid on a fee basis,” Griesbach said. Hiring a construction manager allows the district to maintain optimal control over the project, he said.
Designs for the new gym, industrial tech and science classrooms at Gower Middle School are expected to be finished in the fall, with contracts to be let in early 2013. Work will begin when school is out next year.
“We’re going to do a ton of work next summer,” Griesbach said.