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School projects behind schedule
Massingale Masonry employee John Smith, foreground, prepares concrete for workers laying block Tuesday at the construction site at Bobby Ray Elementary.

The three construction projects at Bobby Ray, Irving College and Warren County High School are inching forward but each is approximately 10 days behind schedule, says Upland Design Group architect Derrick Clemow.
“We have experienced some challenges,” said Clemow. “Most of the challenges are weather related. On calendar days we were handed, we are seven to 10 days behind because we had one of the wettest Julys on record. We never dried out. The high humidity didn’t help either. We have had some real challenges in terms of earth work.”
An update on the projects was given Monday to the county’s Education Committee. On the committee are Commissioners Diane Starkey, Terry Bell, Morris Bond, Carlene Brown and Scott Rubley.
Irving College School has had some unexpected findings underground. Reported to committee members in July was that workers had unearthed an old septic tank during excavation. This month, Clemow reported the discovery of three septic tanks and a cistern – a tank for storing water.
“Irving College has not been easy to get out of the ground,” said Clemow. “The footings are in, for the most part. On the list of discoveries, they have found three septic tanks and a cistern. The three septic tanks have been removed, one of which you can park three cars in. The most recent find is a cistern. It sits right in the middle of one of our footings. When it was discovered, we didn’t know how big or deep it is. We are digging that cistern out, obviously, and it has disrupted our progress on getting footings in place.”
The work has revealed the existing building’s foundation is only eight inches below grade and additional work has been done to that foundation in order to prevent undermining its integrity when the new structure is attached.
Warren County High School’s pad for its fieldhouse is in, says Clemow.
“The pad for the multipurpose building is in place. About 50 percent of the footings are in for the multipurpose building. The new addition is going up. Masonry is up about 30 percent of the way. The slab is poured. The plumbing is in place.”
Utilities are creating a problem. In July, the plumbing and fire protection lines were discovered when workers cut through the pavement. It had to be rerouted. This month, it’s electricity to the lights in the parking lot.
“Unfortunately, we have run into the lights in the parking lot,” said Clemow. “That created a challenge. It has been resolved on how we are going to resolve it. However, we can’t physically do the work until we get some other pieces in.”
Students have complained about nails in the parking lot, says Clemow, and workers have been going over the parking lot with magnets to find any stray nails.
Bobby Ray Elementary’s block work on its new addition is approximately 40 percent complete. Clemow says weather played a major role in this project’s delay, there have been some issues with the floor in the gymnasium giving way and needing to be patched.
“They have painted the ceiling. When I say painted, we had called for dry fogging of the ceiling. It’s markedly improved but it’s not a new penny. The floor was damaged during the painting effort due to the weight. There was no substructure to the floor so it broke. They had to repair it. They have made three temporary repairs on the floor and made it useable.”
The project includes replacement of the floor during the overall project.
A request for a canopy connecting the gymnasium to the main building has been received from the school and an attempt will be made to repurpose the canopy being taken down at the high school.
Clemow says the projects are “progressing well.” They hope to make up the time delay when the projects aren’t dependent on the weather.