Middle school project almost done

Work will continue after classes start

Leader Photo by Scott Williams Miron Construction project manager Jared Olk, center, shows Shawano School Board members and administrators a floor plan illustrating the progress of work on Shawano Community Middle School.

Leader Photo by Scott Williams Enjoying the remodeled courtyard at Shawano Community Middle School are, from left, Miron Construction project manager Jared Olk, School Board member Marcia Yeager, Superintendent Gary Cumberland and Principal Mary Kramer.

The renovated Shawano Community Middle School will welcome students back Sept. 1, although the $10 million project will not be quite ready for prime time.

After four months on the job, construction manager Miron Construction Co. will meet its goal of having the renovation substantially complete by mid-August — that is, the building will be open and functional.

Members of the Shawano School Board toured the property Monday and marveled at the updated cafeteria, band and orchestra rooms, courtyard, heating system and main entrance to the 62-year-old school.

Officials, however, dropped plans for an Aug. 31 public open house after learning that work might not be completed in the gymnasium, kitchen or other areas until after the school year has started.

Miron project executive Randy Boden encouraged school board members to wait and hold a significant public celebration when the project is finished.

“Make it big. Make it grand,” Boden said. “Let’s do it up.”

The open house event has been rescheduled for Sept. 17, with the public invited to tour the renovated school between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.

Voters last November approved a referendum to borrow $9.25 million — and combine that with $700,000 in other funds — to complete a long list of improvements at the middle school, 1050 S. Union St. School district administrators have said the face-lift would extend the building’s life by 25 years or more.

Miron Construction began work in April and agreed to have the project substantially complete by Aug. 19.

The board’s buildings and grounds committee toured the property Monday and got an update from Miron officials on the building’s back-to-school readiness. Teachers will have access to their classrooms starting Aug. 22 and the traditional “Back to School Night” event will take place Aug. 23. Classes begin Sept. 1.

Although board members discussed going ahead with the Aug. 31 open house and simply cordoning off unfinished areas, they agreed to postpone the event so that participants can tour the entire school after work is completed.

“It would be nice, I would guess, if they can see more,” board member Marcia Yeager said.

After classes have started, Miron officials said work is scheduled to continue on gymnasium improvements, installing a new elevator, new kitchen equipment, and finishing a few other components of the job. The contractor has indicated that all such work should be done in the first week of September.

Superintendent Gary Cumberland and SCMS Principal Mary Kramer also joined Monday’s tour of the construction site.

Much work remains in progress, and Miron officials said they currently have more than 100 workers on-site getting the building ready for teachers and students.

“A lot of people are asking me, ‘Are you really going to get done?’” Boden said. “Yes, we’ll get done.”