October 01, 2023

School district works on summer projects

This summer the Creston Community School District is working on projects to make athletic events handicap accessible, boost air quality in school buildings and improve the cafeterias.

Superintendent Deron Stender said bringing the football stadium into compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act is the school district’s biggest summer project.

“Our outdoor athletic stadium is being brought into ADA compliance. The bleachers are being restructured so that they have handicap accessibility and handicap seating,” he said.

Stender said the project also improves handicap access around the stadium for bathrooms and concession stands.

“We did make some renovations to the softball field with the entrance from the back side of the booth where they do the announcements in the concession stand,” he said.

He said the total cost of the ADA compliant upgrades to the outdoor athletic facilities was $231,213.

Heating and cooling systems in the school buildings are also getting an upgrade.

“We wanted to do more HVAC units but we just can’t get access to them or have them delivered. So everything’s on schedule for about six months behind,” Stender said, adding that the pandemic interrupted supply chains and there is a labor shortage. “The people that are working on building these things don’t have people. So it’s also taking longer for them to produce the items. And the demand is high. I think every school across the country is trying to improve their indoor air quality.”

Stender said they’re replacing more units than usual.

“We’re going to do 10. Typically we only do five, but we doubled up thinking we’re going to try to get it since we had access to 10. We wanted to make sure we got them, knowing we might not be able to get them if we needed them over the course of the school year if one goes down.”

He said between high school and the elementary/middle school buildings, about 60 additional HVAC units are due to be replaced.

“The way we do it is slow and steady,” he said. “We’re always behind schedule versus being able to get in front of it.”

Units being replaced are ones parts are no longer made for. Creston Community Schools facility manager Gary Briley is doing most of the installation work. Stender said the total cost of the HVAC project is $47,408.

Stender also said he’s trying to replace each of the walk-in freezers at the two school buildings, at a cost of $57,000. The freezers have already been ordered, but due shipping delays it’s unclear when they’ll be installed.

“If they arrive, we would like to do it this summer,” he said.

Stender said much of the funding for these projects were federally funded. He said more information about what projects are being done and the costs is available on the district’s website.

“We’re trying to be very responsible in how we’re utilizing these federal funds to help with our district’s needs to keep our students and staff safe,” he said.