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Putting up with a little bit of noise and dust

By Staff | Jan 20, 2013

It has been a little noisy at the Blue Earth Area Middle School lately.

And a bit on the dusty side as well.

With construction progressing on the $5 million heating/ventilation project at the Blue Earth Area Middle and Elementary School building, some staff members have had to make a few adjustments.

The school’s administrators gave an update on the work at last Monday’s regular BEA School Board meeting.

“The staff has been flexible, with several teachers having to move into temporary classrooms,” says principal Melissa Mcguire. “They have been understanding about all the noise and dust, too.”

Construction workers have been busy since Dec. 26, demolishing parts of four classrooms in order to install the new heating, ventilation and air exchanging equipment.

Assistant principal Al Cue agrees that the staff and students have been very understanding.

“I was in one classroom when workers tore down a wall next door,” Cue told the board. “I jumped, but the teacher and students just kept right on with their work.”

Cue and Mcguire also commended the students for keeping their hands off all the desks and materials that is now stored in the hallway outside the affected classrooms.

“They were told not to touch any of it, or play on it, and they have not,” Cue says.

Superintendent Evan Gough says there is much more construction to come. After the first four classrooms are done, expected to be by Feb. 4, another four will be started.

“We are holding off on work in the elementary school until after summer starts,” Gough says. “It would be too disruptive for the younger kids.”

The administration will get its share of disruption as well. Gough says all of the offices in the two school buildings will be changed around and remodeled.

“We are moving the district office to the high school starting on Feb. 4,” he says. “We expect to be out there until August or September.”

Then Community Ed will move into the area where the district offices are now.

Eventually, when it is all said and done, the district office will be back where it is now, the middle and elementary school offices will be located where the Community Ed offices currently are, and Community Ed will be where the elementary school office is currently located.

“It will all make sense when it is done, but it will be pretty messed up until we do get it all done,” Gough says.

He told the board one issue with moving the offices was the phone lines.

“It turned out to be more than just flipping a switch,” he says.

The heat/air/vent work was originally scheduled to be done over two summers. But, Gough explains, the bids were more advantageous if the work could be all completed in one calendar year.

“That means we have to do a lot of it while school is in session, which is a hassle,” Gough says. “But so far, everyone is adjusting to all of the construction quite nicely.”

But, with a cement saw cutting a hole in the roof in the background, Gough shouts that it has been a little noisy at times.