Walking through the Macon Elementary School this summer makes it hard to believe that classes will begin again in less than two months.
"We are a work in process," said Macon R-I Director of Operations Marshall Gingrich. "The whole project has gone really well for as big as it is, we have had no problems so far."
The major undertaking has been tearing up the main sewer line that runs the length of the elementary hallway from just west of the principal's office continuing to right before the ramp.
Before the trenching could begin two layers of tile were removed from the hallway.
"The bottom layer of tile was found to be asbestos," said Gingrich. "So both layers were considered contaminated. Samples from the area were sent to St. Louis for testing and we had to wait for the 'all clear' before work could continue."
The sewer is the original cast-iron line that was installed when the elementary school was built in 1952.
"It came out in pieces," said Gingrich. "When any pressure was put on it at all it just crumbled."
New PVC sewer pipe has been installed and the trench filled with clean gravel. This week the gravel will be covered with new concrete. The concrete will have to cure before the new vinyl tile can be installed.
The elementary gym is also undergoing some changes. The old gym doorway, formerly in the entry way to the building, is being filled with concrete blocks. The new entrance will be located in the interior elementary hallway.
In the gym a new storage area was enclosed with a large garage door opening installed that will provide easier access for loading and unloading supplies with a forklift. Stairs to a loft storage area were constructed.
Down the hall, the elementary kitchen has been completely gutted.
"The kitchen was pretty much as it was when it was new in 1952," said Gingrich. "It was in dire need of updating and we thought now was a good time with all the other construction going on."
The improved kitchen area will feature a work flow change, new dishwasher, new refrigerator, stainless steel work stations, new dropped ceiling, storage area, shelving and a new garbage disposal.
New vinyl tile will be installed in the eating area of the cafeteria. The walk-in freezers that are located just outside the kitchen were enclosed.
"Before, it was just surrounded by chain link fencing," said Gingrich. "The enclosure will keep the area cleaner."
In addition to the elementary work, the roof to the middle school gym is also being replaced.