Yuma-1 school project taking shape

Yuma School District-1 Board of Education received a progress update during its regular monthly board meeting, Monday night at the district office.
Superintendent Dianna Chrisman told the board she was “floored with the progress so far.”
Chad Rayl of owner’s representative Project One added that to date the project is on time and on budget.

Those two and a representative of Neenan Archistruction, the design/build firm hired to spearhead the project, brought the board up to date.
There was quite a bit of discussion about the latest plans involving the drop-off/pick-up area at the Yuma Middle School/Morris Elementary School campus, as well as updating the serving kitchen at YMS.

Surveying on the YHS campus was being done late last week, and continues this week. (Pioneer Photo)

Chrisman noted that all plans involving the project are constantly being tweaked at this point, so schematic drawings being shared at meetings are kept there because those plans might be outdated in a short period of time.
Discussion turned to the YHS campus, where the majority of work will take place.
The library is being moved to where the main office currently sits, which will locate it next to the commons area. There has been discussion about the needs of books vs. technology in a modern library, which is being downsized from its current location. Work already has begun in sorting out books that are never checked out or used anymore. Chrisman said the plan is to start selling them during games, as well as looking at other means of disposing them.
The same goes for all sorts of equipment and supplies at the school. The staff is beginning to sort through what to keep, what could be sold or donated, and what simply to throw away.
The board was told about how the current classroom wing that will be renovated, as well as the new wing that will go to the west, will feature plenty of natural lighting and good acoustics to make for a quality learning environment. Safety, security and supervision also are a focus in the design.
The new auxiliary gym/classroom and weight room will be located at the south end of the current school, putting it in close proximity to the outdoor complex, as well as providing a straight line from The Pit, commons and auditorium area to the auxiliary gym.
The new ag education building will be located at the far west end of the new wing. The new wing also will be where the new main office and secure entrance will be located.
Chrisman said the project’s phasing, the order in which things will be done, has not been finalized yet.
However, a “tight” floor plan and pricing report will be presented to the board at its February meeting.
Board members were told that the hope is to get all the work at YMS done this summer, as well as getting the new gym at YHS done. It was noted the auxiliary gym will have precast walls, so it should be able to go up in short order.
There will be a secured outdoor courtyard area for students located between the new gym and the existing north/south classroom wing.
Ag teachers, an ag advisory group and Chrisman will tour new ag education facilities later this month.
Chrisman said the effort also is starting into the exterior appearance. She explained the idea is to have a traditional look, but one also that is modern instead of looking like it is the 1950s.
Soil testing was being done on the practice field at YHS, late last week. (Pioneer Photo)
Crews also have been conducting the required soil testing, surveying and other testing needing done before physical work begins. Rayl said it is all coming in under budget.
The board was told Project One and Neenan will present a project update at each monthly board meeting.