Just in time… for back to school
With summer coming to a close and the school year right around the corner, the new United South Central school still has some work to be done.
“Everything is going well,” superintendent Jerry Jensen says. “We’re not so much behind, but rather have multiple things left still to do. It is stressful, but this whole process has been very interesting and it is exciting for it to come to an end.”
The main parking lot is all but finished and is only waiting on one final coat.
“The parking lot is something we really want to get done, especially for the teachers, so they can park and start getting their rooms ready for the school year,” Jensen explains. “Hopefully we can get the lines painted in this week.”
The landscaping in front of the school is also something Jensen believes will be done before school starts.
“Right now we don’t have grass yet, but it is going to be very colorful in the front of our building,” he says. “Trees are starting to be put in and we are pretty much where we want to be right now.”
The tennis courts will be ready to go for this upcoming season, Jensen adds.
“The fences are going up right now,” he says. “The net posts are also anchored and the final surface can go on soon.”
The track will also be ready for USC athletes to use next spring.
“We will have to wait and see how the baseball and softball fields hold up with the grass,” Jensen explains. “It’s great to have the luxury of still being able to play at Thompson Park, where the squads will be for this year, probably.”
As for the football stadium, the Wells Concrete donated structure will not be available until 2016.
“The football team will still use the existing field at the old USC site. Football turf is tricky to work with and it’s hard to put an exact date on when it will be available,” Jensen explained. “The footing for the stadium is being done right now and Wells Concrete can begin working on that project next Monday.”
Wells Concrete will be donating the entire precast college stadium-type seating structure, estimated to be worth $250,000, to the new USC school.
“We wanted something that generations of people can look back at and be impressed by,” president of Wells Concrete Dan Juntenen says. “It will show people that Wells Concrete really cares about the community and let people know we are committed.”
The baseball, softball and football fields are still in need of seeding because they need an irrigation system.
USC also purchased two new wresting mats for the new school, according to Jensen.
“I forgot about the process it takes to get the mats prepared,” he recalls. “We needed to roll out both of the mats for a week each. We were worried about the space requirement, but it ended up being OK. The booster club was very generous and helped in buying the mats.”
Jensen also says a lot of the furniture from the old school is being moved over.
“New furniture can get really expensive,” he explained. “As time goes on, we can address what needs to be worked on. Also, the outside furnishings like the trash cans and benches have not yet arrived, but they should be here soon.”
The teachers were originally slated to move into the building this week, but there has been too much work still needed to be done.
“The road work on Sixth Avenue and Highway 22 have been very grueling,” Jensen says. “The other day it was difficult to even see because of all the dust in the air. There is also going to be a turn lane into the main entrance on Highway 22. I was told the turn lane could be completed as soon as this September.”
The halls are currently lined with teacher’s boxes, internet is set up and the phones are working.
“Mainly everything from the old school is here,” Jensen says. “We still have some time before school starts. It has been a long road, but it sure is exciting to see everything coming together.”
The USC School Board announced at their last meeting that Aug. 29 will be the date of an open house at the new school for the public. Selected board members will be guiding tours.
According to Jensen, there might be an additional grand opening or ribbon cutting at some point, too.