Repairs and renovations began this week at Fort Dodge Senior High.
Work began Monday on the school's leaking swimming pool. Travis Filloon, FDCSD professional support, described it as an "emergency repair."
"Since I started with the district 26 years ago, it's been a slight leak on the inside of the wall," he said. "In the last year or two, it's doubled in size and then it was running through the wall here this last year. We were at an urgent state that we didn't want to lose the pool during a competition or swim meet situation. Summer was the best time to address that."
According to Filloon, the repairs will cost an estimated $29,000.
"They're having a concrete-cutting person cut through the walls of the pool, near the gutter, and then replacing them with the stainless steel gutter assembly that has a leak in it," he said. "They have to cut all the way through the wall of the pool and that involves some tile work, reinforcement of that wall when they pour it back in. We have to do a bunch of wall tile work on top of that, which is the district's responsibility, and then the floor above, which also has to be cut through to gain access."
The repairs are proceeding swimmingly, and will be done before the start of swim practice at the start of August, Filloon said.
"That's moving right along, as far as we've got them coordinated, got them on sight as of this morning to do that work," Filloon said.
The pipes in the Senior High's tunnels, the main delivery point for all its water, are also being upgraded.
"Throughout the entire tunnel system we have piping that was installed originally with the building and it's basically at the end of its useful life," Filloon said. "We've constantly been putting 'band-aids' on, which is a stainless steel with a rubber gasket on it, designed to clamp on."
Isolation valves are also being installed.
"With those, we could keep the building up and running if we were to have a catastrophic failure in some portion," Filloon said. "Before, we'd have to shut down all the water in the building. The original valves that were in place just didn't hold any more, so when we had water line problems that were of any significance we had to coordinate that, shut down the whole building. It was quite trying sometimes with the kitchen operations and all the activities at our high school."
Inside the Senior High, the student center, also called the commons, is getting a "major transformation," Filloon said.
"We started with the thought of just dealing with the roof that was above that and another roofing section that is being completed under the same contract," he said. "The student center work, which is going to show all the renovation work."
A skylight is being installed with the new metal roof, Filloon said, to "open up the space, make it feel more inviting." The existing plaster ceiling inside will be replaced with suspended ceiling panels, and sound panels will be added to soften the acoustics of the space.
"The kids should find it a nice area to hang out and visit with friends and then move on into the education spaces, which are the next areas of improvements that are necessary," he said. "Future plans are to add some furniture that complements it. Budgetarily, we're not in a position to do all that at one time."
The district is steadily making repairs and renovations according to its master plan, prepared by RDG Planning & Design engineers.
"We're kind of moving in a direction, trying to bite off pieces of this as we can, financially," Filloon said. "We're about at the end of that."
Despite its repairs, Senior High, otherwise, is holding up well.
"The building being built in 1958, it's certainly being kept well and maintained to the best of our abilities, but things do wear out and it comes time we just plain have to replace things that no longer have any life or value," Filloon said.