A vision that started in 2013 is finally nearing completion for Ardmore City Schools.
Plagued by leaking roofs and an aging infrastructure, ACS pushed for the passing of a $31 million bond issue that would bring several new buildings and structures to the district. The bond’s big ticket items included completely rebuilding Lincoln Elementary, adding additional classrooms to the other schools and putting a new roof on the middle school.
After four years of construction, the projects have finally reached an end.
“We have a punch list at both schools that is being finished up,” Chris Kennedy, ACS director of operations, said. “We’re shooting for the end of this month.”
Kennedy, who has seen the entire construction process since its beginning in 2013, said the final outstanding items are being completed this month before the projects are officially considered complete. While some projects, like the Ardmore Middle School roof and Noble Stadium, have been done for some time, Will Rogers Elementary and Lincoln Elementary have had ongoing work.
Kennedy said Will Rogers Elementary, which had an extra addition added for additional classrooms, safe rooms and a gymnasium, is complete minus a few door closures and final painting.
Lincoln Elementary, on the other hand, still has some ongoing projects, though Kennedy said he expects those projects to be complete this summer. Block work on the exterior of the brand new elementary building is still being done and Monday work began on fixing an issue with some of the tiling at the school. During the June Ardmore City Schools board of education meeting Kennedy explained he, and Steven Ryan, Trigon General Contractors and Construction Managers, Inc., walked Lincoln and identified all of the tiles in question.
Once those items are complete Kennedy said the ownership of the building will be completely turned over to the district.
“We don’t lack much,” Kennedy said. “We have the letter of occupancy and we are just making sure everything is done before it is completely turned over to us.”
The board closed out the bond last month with two change orders, which were approved on the consent agenda. Both change orders were deductive, with the Will Rogers contract sum being reduced by roughly $27,000 and the Lincoln construct sum being reduced by just more than $14,000. Collectively the projects were completed about $500,000 under budget, according to the change order documents.
Kelly Shannon, ACS director of finance, explained during last month’s meeting that the district has actually seen a reduction in maintenance costs and utilities since the completion of Lincoln. Kennedy said the new building and additions require less upkeep and more energy efficient air conditioning has led to utility savings.
“I really and truly believe it’s been a lot of help,” Kennedy said. “There was always a roof leak or something you can look back at old meeting minutes and see the problems we had and that adds up.”