New digs for little Diggers

Brand new lockers on the third and fourth floors are part of the renovations made at Lead-Deadwood Elementary School over the summer. Pioneer photo by Jaci Conrad Pearson

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DEADWOOD — When school starts in Lead-Deadwood Sept. 3, elementary school students housed on the third and fourth floors will enjoy brand new digs, as the district’s $3.4 million phase 2A facility update draws to a close. 

“The project has really gone very well,” said School District Superintendent Dr. Dan Leikvold. “We appreciate the due diligence of ICS and Heavy Builders to keep everything on time and professional. They have worked extremely hard to get this done in the limited amount of time we had. Bill Snow and Tim Kosters have been very helpful in lending their expertise to the construction decision making as well.  It looks great. I’m sure our students and staff are going to love the renovations.”

With nearly $3.4 million in third- and fourth-floor renovations planned to enlarge rooms and place pull-out rooms with windows that allow for viewing students between classrooms, as well as extensive HVAC system work, there was much to complete prior to school start-up in September.

“It’s pretty much a brand-new building,” said Building, Transportation, and Maintenance Supervisor Bill Snow. “It’s clean, the lighting’s a lot better, and I sure hope it improves the learning environment.”

To top it all off, contractors are on-time and are expected to make the substantial completion deadline of Friday.

“I’m really impressed with these guys. The whole crew has been great to work with,” Snow said. “Right now, we’re on time. We should be able to start moving classrooms back in on the fourth floor Friday and the third floor Monday. It doesn’t give them much time to put their rooms together, but it does give them a week.”

In total, the two floors will feature eight classrooms and two special education classrooms.

There are now two classrooms per side, on the fourth floor and each shares a one-on-one room, per side. The building now has air conditioning, as two rooftop units were installed, and fire suppression sprinklers were installed.

On the fourth floor, a new staff bathroom, a janitor’s closet, student restrooms, and special education rooms have been added, as well as a ramp to make the auditorium area handicap accessible.

The third floor mirrors the fourth floor, featuring three classrooms per side and all classrooms now have more efficient, less harsh LED lighting.

Also, as part of the project, a water line hook-up that required tearing up the street in front of the school was completed earlier this summer.

Lead-Deadwood Elementary has three sections of each grade and the renovations will accommodate the smaller number of sections leaving flexibility in case of changes in enrollment.

Facility upgrades are being conducted throughout the district. 

Phase one work involved installation of a high school elevator, tuckpointing at the high school and elementary schools, and two retaining walls at the elementary school at a cost of $1.3 million.

Phase 2B of the facilities update ramps up over the summer of 2020 and entails renovating the second floor and moving the school offices from second floor to the first floor, just off the lunchroom.

Phase 3 of the facilities update and its corresponding financial commitment, is still in discussion, but is likely to involve renovating the elementary school cafeteria and kitchen, as well as some classroom renovation and moving the elementary school entryway to the ground floor.

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