Leader Blues

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

TOP STORY >> Cabot rebuilds junior high

By JEFFREY SMITH
Leader staff writer

Cabot School Board members had a sneak peak last week at the progress being made in the re-building of Cabot Junior High North which is set to open this fall.

James Dalton, assistant superintendent, led board members Jim Coy, Dean Martin, David Hipps and Wendel Msall on a tour of the construction site. The junior high school burned down in 2006.

ďI think it was one of the best- planned schools Iíve ever seen. Iím totally blown away and proud of it,Ē Msall said about the new building.

He said the $12.5 million junior high was about 70 percent completed. He was pleased with the management of all the contractors, especially in light of the projectís complexity.

ďIím very impressed with the progress,Ē Coy said.

Martin said he is pleased with the size of the junior high given that students will have more room. He said the new building has 33,000 square feet more than the old building and meets all new standards for schools.

The previous junior high was 101,000 square feet; the new one has increased to 134,000 square feet. He noted that the media center will have two separate media labs to help keep up with the demands of new technologies.

In line with new building standards, the cafeteria was built to feed 600 students, half of the student body, at one time. The walk-in coolers and freezers still need to be installed.

March plans to be a busy month for construction crews. During the first week, elevators will be installed, which schools with two or more stories are required to have. Also, crews will start laying floor covering in the building and carpeting in the media center early next month.

According to Dalton, several truckloads of mill work are scheduled to arrive in March. The deliveries will include cabinetry and wood trim for the classrooms.

Around the school, parts of the drop-ceiling panels are in place.

Tile work has begun in the bathrooms. Walls are covered with a primer coat of paint and are waiting for finishing coats to be applied.

When the state-of-the-art construction nears completion, a glass front retaining wall will be installed from the ground at the main staircase to the ceiling to prevent falls.