The remodel project is funded by a $70 million bond measure for school building repairs that passed in May 2011.
The original wing of the school is being remodeled. The building was built in 1925. During that initial construction, one of the things not included was insulation, so that’s one of the things that crews are installing now.
The building is also getting a new roof, windows and exterior siding. There will also be three new classrooms equipped with the resources for modern technology.
Project managers say they were faced with two options: Tear the wing down and build from scratch or remodel it. The wing’s full basement made tearing down the building too expensive, so they chose to remodel. Due to safety concerns and the age of this part of the school, it hasn’t been used for the last eight years.
“It’s been re-engineered and modernized in this project, so it is completely safe now. It was a good way to go. A lot of bang for the buck in this building, rather than tearing it down and replacing it with just a single room,” said Kirk Gebb, 4J Facilities Project Manager.
You may remember that when several schools closed last year, Willagillespie received an influx of students.
The remodeled wing and the 1,100-square-feet extension to the cafeteria will help accommodate the increased amount of students. The project manager says the remodel of the school will be complete just in time for kids to head back to school.