Florida Keys News
Monday, June 24, 2013
Schools out, but work continues

The Horace O'Bryant school project may finally be finished, but the school district has a list of projects, both small and medium-sized, to work on this summer - and beyond.

"We have different crews that do different trades simultaneously throughout the Keys," said Jeff Barrow, the district's assistant director of maintenance. "We'll be working on air conditioning throughout the summer. In fact, we're always working on it. The other big thing will be concrete repair in some of the older buildings."

At the moment, one crew is working on the air conditioning units on the roof of the Key West High School.

"We have air conditioning issues throughout the school year, every year," said Key West High School Principal Amber Archer-Bosco. The maintenance department is always very quick to help us get them fixed. They're currently working on a major project at the school, and they've been really good about keeping us apprised of their progress."

Also in the works, is the replacement of an A/C unit at the Sue Moore building at Stanley Switlik Elementary School, in Marathon, and repairs to two units atop the Marathon Middle High School gym. Extensive A/C repairs are also scheduled for Coral Shores High School.

"These are the ones we're going to try to get done during the summer," Barrow said. "There are a number of other ones on our list that are still in the pricing stage. At this point we're still writing specifications and getting quotes."

As for the concrete repairs, Barrow figures work will commence this summer on district properties such as Gerald Adams Elementary School, "possibly" the back building of Reynolds School, the back building of Key West High School, and the garage area at the district headquarters on Trumbo Road. The main administration building, also on Trumbo Road, is slated for a makeover as well, as are the May Sands School buildings 100 through 300 on United Street.

"All the concrete work is still in the pricing stage," Barrow said. "The spec has been written, but it will be put on the street soon. This is also work that can be done after hours during the school year, at winter break, and spring break."

For now, though, the 25-strong maintenance crew is preoccupied with two unrelated projects at either end of the Keys: the removal and replacement of the termite-infested auditorium stage at Plantation Key School in Tavernier and the moving of district equipment and furniture from the now-defunct Glynn Archer Elementary School, to the newly constructed Horace O'Bryant K-8 school.

"The pricing and other preliminary work on the Plantation Key stage started three months ago," Barrow said. "The physical work will begin July 1. That's going to be the demolition, and pulling out the old stage and building a new one. We expect to be working on that for about two to three weeks. It should go pretty quickly."

With regard to the Glynn Archer/HOB move, Barrow said "What's consuming our people right now is moving out of the Glynn Archer buildings, and into HOB, and also securing Glynn Archer for the city of Key West. We're trying to get our things out so that we can turn it over to the city in August."

"We just moved the playground," Barrow added. "The playground was literally pulled out of the ground at Glynn Archer, and reinstalled at HOB."

Then there's the new, ADA-compliant restroom project at Tommy Roberts Stadium in Key West. Work is scheduled to start this summer and continue into the fall.

Yet another ongoing project is the emptying and cleaning of every room in every school, Barrow said.

"They'll be cleaning them all top-to-bottom," he said. "The custodians are some hard-working people."


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