A number of construction projects are underway within in the Jay School District.

On Thursday, Jan. 19, during a special meeting, members of the Jay School Board received an update concerning the progress of several site improvement projects.

The improvements come through three bonds approved by voters in November 2015.

The bonds, approved my more than 65 percent of the voters, included $2.2 million for improvements to the Vocational and Technology Building, $2.225 million for safety and energy upgrades and $500,000 for transportation improvements. 

During Thursday's meeting, J. T. Boynton of Boynton Williams & Associates, the architecture firm for the projects, walked board members through the status of each site improvement project.

Boynton said the projects remain under budget at a total of approximately $142,000 but that this figure may change.

"We are renovating four existing building and cutting up three acres, four acres of land," Boynton said. "There will be unknowns that we discover."

Boynton said he does not anticipate the project will go over budget, as a total of $4.4 million was allocated for the improvements. 

Three projects are underway including the HVAC renovation, a new VO-AG building and site improvements. A fourth project, to replace windows in the middle school has been completed.

The building of secure entrances in each school will begin in May, Boynton said after student testing, to lessen the impact on students and faculty.

VO-AG building

During the meeting, Boynton updated board members concerning concerning the largest components of the project. 

The VO-AG building project - a $1.6 million renovation to the existing vocational and agricultural building - is progressing, with demolition outside of the steel support structure finished.

The next step in the project, Boynton said, is to assess the integrity of the remaining structure, which he anticipates will need some additional work. 

"There is no cross bracing anywhere," Boynton said. "If you look at the beams, they have been cut through and we might have to replace some of those."

Boynton said repairing the building's support structure will add additional cost to the project. 

When complete, the building will include: a vocational/agricultural shop, a technology shop, interior storage, two offices, two classrooms, two computer labs and an information technology room.

Site improvements

Boynton also updated board members concerning the site improvements which include a new drop-off lane for on all campuses, as well as new canopies and sidewalks. He said the base cost of these projects is $744,000.

Possible alternatives - numbered one, two, three and seven - total an additioanl $527,000. Each alternate concerns construction connected to the district's parking lots.

The alternate bids include: building the parking lot in front of the Jay Lower Elementary School, as well as demolishing and rebuilding a parking lot east of the building; and rebuilding the parking lots in front of Jay High School and Bulldog Arena.

"As we complete one parking lot, another will start," Boynton said. "They can't do without all three parking lots at the same time."

Jay Superintendent Charles Thomas said the construction has caused minimal impact for student drop-offs because of prior planning.

"It has gone smoothly, transitioning from parking areas that can't be used to trying to route all the traffic to where it's a manageable and organized situation," Thomas said, adding that getting information to the public before the process began also helped ease transition issues. 

Thomas said the new drop-off procedure, which requires all students to be dropped off next the gym and includes a longer drop-off area, works better than the previous version.

"It is probably something we should have looked at before," Thomas said. "Necessity is a great inventor of things. These plans, with the cooperation of the community, have gone real well and have been running very efficiently."