BY CAROL ROEHM
A transformation is taking place at East Park Elementary School. East Park — which was originally built as a junior high school in 1961 and used as a middle school until 1987 — is the third and final school to be improved in District 118’s three-year, $30 million renovation project. During the last two years, South View and North Ridge middle schools have been renovated.
On Wednesday morning, workers busily erected roof trusses on the northern most part of the school building.
Once all of the roof trusses have been installed, the actual roof will start to take shape.
“We have the final roof sheeting coming in on Friday,” said Ron Henton, District 118’s director of buildings and grounds.
Henton said work also was taking place inside the school.
“They are working on the mechanicals and the piping for the boilers,” he said.
Henton estimated that 95 percent of the exterior windows will be installed by the time school is out at the end of the month.
“The windows are going very well,” he said. “When school is out, they can start replacing the windows in the courtyards.”
Despite the rain last month, Henton said, “We’re pretty much on schedule.”
The $12.5 million East Park project is smaller in scale than the renovations that were made at South View and North Ridge middle schools.
Rather than construct a cafetorium, a new cafeteria — without a stage — with a seating capacity of 448 as well as a new kitchen are being built in the large grassy area to the south of the main entrance of school. The foundation for the combined cafeteria and kitchen will be poured soon, Henton said.
East Park also will not receive new lockers, as South View and North Ridge did, because elementary school students do not use lockers.
Still, the East Park project entails the installation of a new roof, new windows, new heating/cooling system and plumbing and electrical upgrades throughout the school.