ROGERS CITY - Construction crews are busy renovating Rogers City High School to make it more energy-efficient, and the project is ahead of schedule and under budget.
Construction noise could be heard throughout the school Monday morning. Huge pieces of classroom and building walls had been cut out and replaced with metal framework. Bouma Corp. employees cut pieces of the frames, screwed them into place or painted the exterior surface of new walls already fastened to the framework. Others added insulation or installed new drop ceiling grids from atop a pair of stilts.
School district Maintenance Director Kirk Schaedig said work is two weeks ahead of schedule. With the old windows and metal paneling below them gone and many of the new walls in place or in progress, insulation, electrical, drywall and door installation work is starting.
"That takes a little more time," he said.
The project involves replacing these old windows and panels with the newer walls and smaller, more energy-efficient windows, Schaedig said. Surrounding brick work will remain. The new walls will have more insulation, and each classroom also will get a digital thermostat to replace the old air-driven ones. Hallways and common areas will get new drop ceiling gridwork and tiles, and one science classroom will get a set of movable work stations.
Superintendent Katy Xenakis-Makowski said it's all part of a roughly $900,000 project to lower heating and cooling bills for the building and update a science lab. She thinks the finished result will have an impact on the overall atmosphere as well as utility costs.
"I've been really pleased with the project. It's moving along very quickly, and I'm hoping for everything to be ready before everyone needs to get back to work," she said.
Schaedig said he's hopeful that enough of the project will be done in time for the school to host the 2014 Miss Rogers City pageant on July 25. The original projected date for completion was Aug. 15.