Classes to start at bigger, better BHS

Some construction continues

Classes will start Tuesday at the renovated and expanded Bayfield High School, although some construction work is continuing.

Project manager Marty Zwisler told the school board Tuesday that the new baseball field is pretty much done, and the focus has been on the building.

Sod was being laid in front of the school this week in place of the river rocks, trees were planted south of the new performing arts auditorium, the construction fencing in front of the school is to be removed today or Monday, and construction equipment is being removed from the drop-off loop.

So when people show up Tuesday morning, the school will look finished, at least from the outside, Zwisler said. The remaining fenced construction staging area will be the southeast side of the building. That will remain for two or three more weeks, he said.

The front office remodeling is essentially complete, he said, and staff were working in there this week. The district has a temporary certificate of occupancy (CO) from the state building inspector for that and the new exercise room.

Pretty much the whole building has new flooring, with the last to go in by the gym and the hall to the performance auditorium.

"Our goal, if everything goes the way we'd like, is building inspection Thursday (yesterday) and fire inspection Friday, to get a temporary CO. We'll try to get that for the (new) gym by the end of the week," and the music addition up to the auditorium.

"We aren't even trying to get that," Zwisler advised. "Seats won't be here until next week, and it takes two weeks to install those."

However, he also said in his written report that the performing arts and auxiliary gym additions are ahead of schedule, and some of those areas may be available for use in a few weeks.

"We will have state inspectors back on site Aug. 14 and 15 that will give us a much better indication of when we will be able to start occupying specific areas of our new building additions," he said.

"The auditorium will be the last area completed, but we expect it to be ready by mid-September," he said.

"Over the next two weeks, landscaping will continue around to the south side of the building, new asphalt paving will be placed, and we will gradually see a reduced construction presence on the campus until mid-September, when I expect there will only be a handful of workers taking care of a few remaining tasks," Zwisler reported.

The plan is to bring the state building inspector back in September to get the permanent CO, he said.

Superintendent Troy Zabel said he wants to have a "soft opening" with a ribbon cutting ceremony, possibly in mid-September, and then a big grand opening event for the community, probably in October. He envisions that one to include music performances and a barbecue. He wants more discussion of that at the board's Aug. 26 meeting.