I wanted to give everyone an update on some of our Bond projects and the things going on in regard to construction and technology updates as we head into Thanksgiving break.
After a long delay due to supply chain issues, the Promethean boards have been installed in the classrooms and are currently in use. This has really helped our teachers and students move to a more interactive teaching environment with access to digital components at a touch. Our teachers and students now have access to the most up to date technology.
The server and network updates have also been slowed down by the inability to obtain the components we need. We have been working diligently around these issues, but progress has been slow. We hope to make some major server updates over the Thanksgiving break.
In regard to student devices, we have ordered an additional 50 Chromebooks through a federal funding program that is currently in the process of being approved. Once that gets approved, we should have those additional units available to fulfill all unmet needs. Every student should have access to a device once we get this final order complete.
The auditorium project has been slowed by similar issues in regard to receiving the lighting components, many of which are made in China. We also have an abatement to do to get rid of any residual glue that may contain asbestos under the tile that was in the auditorium. This will be done when everyone is gone next week for Thanksgiving break to be as safe as possible and to avoid any disruptions to the school or the students. You may see workers and tents set up outside the school over the break to keep everything safe and clean. Once that is complete, the electrical wiring and renovations are scheduled to be finished up in December and we hope to have the lights installed by the start of January.
The Ag building has also been delayed by the inability to obtain the sheet metal needed to complete the project. There is a shortage and construction companies are only being allotted small, incremental amounts. With that said, the estimated timeline for the Ag building renovation has now moved to the end of the school year.
The track and football field is currently finishing up the design stage which has taken about 3 months. We are scheduled to receive those final designs and then send those out for bids and hope to start the work as soon as a builder is selected in the coming weeks. Once again, anything dealing with construction, lighting, or the procurement of building components such as concrete is very much variable, so we do not have a definitive timeline of when these projects will start, but we certainly hope to have the groundbreaking and start the dirt work in the next month or two.
(The baseball and softball field shown in this picture are future projects. We are currently working on the track, football field, bleachers, lighting, and the fieldhouse. This picture shows how everything would fit within the site plan.)
We are still looking at renovating the High School library into a media center. I have met with an architect and designer this week to discuss potential options and hope to get that project started soon as well. This will give our students a place to go work on their classwork, do research, or find a quiet place to read while having access to up to date technology.
There are lots of things going on, but movement is very slow. I just wanted to let everyone know where we are currently. If you have any questions or need anything, please let me know. Have a great Thanksgiving!
Russell Holden, Oakwood ISD Superintendent