New brick exterior improves front of building

Workers upgraded the exterior wall this summer with brick. The entire exterior wall was torn down while the work was being done.

In addition to changing the view of the high school building exterior, the replacement of the front outside wall this summer improved the building quality.
“The primary reason for replacing the wall at the front of the high school was for air quality improvements, so that teachers could open windows as they desired to let in fresh air. This allowed us to use federal ESSER ( Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief) funds to pay for the project. There were many other reasons, though. The old wall was beginning to deteriorate badly and allow water to enter the building, which then ruined flooring. The new wall is much more energy efficient and will save us money in the long run. It was also done with student safety in mind,” Superintendent Scott Gemes said.
“It has not only given it an updated look, it was also necessary to keep the elements out,” RootED Adviser Bobbi Swisher said.
The wall/window project cost $185,500 and was fully funded with federal money.
Westport Construction out of Clinton was the contractor for this project; they have also done other projects for the district in the past as well. Facility Solutions Group oversaw the project management and bidding process. They, too, have been key partners in other projects throughout the district.
“We are extremely pleased with the end results of the wall/window project, and Westport (especially their on-site superintendent) was great to work with. It was a real challenge getting the brick and grout to match as closely as it does, but it all turned out great,” Gemes said. “Students and teachers in freshman hall will enjoy the benefits of this project for years to come.”
Construction took nearly all of the summer, which did affect custodians cleaning and preparing freshman hall classrooms for the school year.
“I love the new wall. I think it looks great and adds uniformity to the front of the school. I also feel a lot safer with the wall being mostly brick,” Modern World History teacher Matt Dove said.
Dove also noticed the temperature improvement in the room.
“The wall has had a huge effect on the temperature in my classroom. In previous years one side of my room would be hot and the other side freezing,” Dove said. “This year, the room has been a consistent temperature throughout the entire room.”