Construction of the new addition at DeKalb West School is progressing on schedule.
David Brown of Kaatz, Binkley, Jones & Morris Architects, Inc. of Mount Juliet addressed the school board Tuesday night with an update on the project. "In the classroom addition which is our storm shelter the foundations are complete. The slab is complete. The block is going up. Most of it is to bearing height already. Most of the door frames are in place. The roofing is underway as well. You have about five more weeks of roofing the existing building. The next big thing that will happen on the classroom addition is that they will place the concrete planks that are the roof of that. That will happen in about three or four weeks. The school has turned over the music room, which will become a part of the new kitchen. We have a lot of electrical work to do to relocate your existing electrical. They are wanting to do that over the Christmas holiday. They will do some exploration and if that looks good they will make that transition then but if they run into something unexpected or unforeseen they will wait until after the semester is over," said Brown.
J Cumby Construction of Cookeville is the General Contractor for the project.
Joseph Muscarnero, Superintendent for J. Cumby Construction, spoke with WJLE Wednesday morning about the progress of the work. "The weather has been cooperating. So far conditions have been perfect for construction. Right now we are completing the structural walls to set the roof planks and to complete the exterior of the structure. Then we will proceed with the interior finishes, mechanical and electrical. The FEMA standards pretty much set what construction we do on the exterior of the building in order to provide the safe shelter for the children," said Muscarnero.
"You can see a lot has happened in a really short time," said Director of Schools Mark Willoughby during a visit to the construction site Wednesday morning. "It will be used in storm situations but we'll have a plan where the community can come and use this facility also in tornado weather. We'll have a system in place where we will be able to open this building up so that people in this area can come and have a safe place in the event of a tornado," he added.
The "Tornado Safe Rooms" are being funded mostly by FEMA grant funds but also with local dollars. The addition, being built in the front of the school, will have eight classrooms, restrooms, a new secure entrance, an office, clinic, conference room, and a guidance and teacher work area. A kitchen/cafeteria renovation in the existing building and a re-roofing of the school is also part of the overall project.
Construction is expected to be completed by late June or early July.