New middle school nearing completion manger says
Staff is trickling in while crews tend to punch list before school starts
Valdez Star photo
Rod Morrison, principal of the new Gilson Middle School, shows off the facility's new football turf, which is waiting for a series of warm days for completion.
The new middle school reached "substantial completion" at the end of July and the building is on track to open for school September 2.
"Today, the movers started moving furniture in," Ron Rozak, the senior project manager, told the board of education Monday. "The teachers are supposed to move in next Monday."
However, a number of projects within the project are waiting completion, and the usual bugs to be worked out of the system before it will be fully ready.
"On the inside, it looks pretty well finished," he said, while noting some of the pieces that still need to come together, including the installation of the thresholds in doorways, equipment that needs to be hooked up and training for the new high-tech systems, such as the intercom, digital light controls among others.
"Basically, they are punch list items," Rozak said.
Staff training for the built-in security cameras is one such item.
Valdez Star photo
Principal Rod Morrison, left, talks about the lighting in the new school's gym, with Jim Nygaard, district superintendent.
Two weeks ago, the board of education reviewed a draft security camera policy revision to address the security cameras built into the new school. The board asked for a number of clarifications and asked it be brought back in the future. Jim Nygaard, district superintendent, said Monday night that the policy had been reviewed by the school district's attorney, John Sedor, and he had recommended further revisions.
"He (Sedor) suggested we pare it down a little bit," Nygaard said. "We'll have that ready for the next meeting."
In the meantime, progress continues on the outside of the building as well. The new artificial turf for the football field and has laid and striped, but needs several dry days in a row before it can be declared ready for use. The planned rubberized track around the field is not scheduled to be installed until next June.
The City of Valdez is hosting a ribbon cutting ceremony and free community barbeque to "celebrate the future and honor the past" later this month. A flyer for the event says it will be held on Thursday, August 28 from 5:15-8 p.m.