BETHEL TOWNSHIP — Thanks to a mild winter, work on the new wing of Bethel High School has been moving ahead quickly.
According to the school district’s owner’s representative Joe Harkleroad, some aspects of construction are even ahead of schedule.
“We made excellent progress with the concrete masonry block work because the weather has been very favorable,” Harkleroad explained. “We obviously had a very mild winter and it’s been very helpful for construction.”
Construction began on the new wing last fall. In 2014, township voters approved a $22 million bond issue for new construction and renovation of the existing facilities.With the development of the Carriage Trails subdivision in Huber Heights, the district made the decision to add a new wing to accommodate the growing student population.
With the new addition, the district will gain 22 classrooms, a cafetorium — a combination of a cafeteria and an auditorium — and a new kitchen.
“We phased the project by running the two big boxes up first: the music and band room, which is tall, and the cafetorium, which is tall,” Harkleroad said. “We have the block all the way up to bearing height for the steel. In fact, we’re scheduled to set the steel bar joist and start putting that steel roof system together this Monday. And that’s ahead of schedule for us and we’re happy about that.”
Right now, the music room and cafetorium look like two independent structures. As the weather warms up, more concrete block will go up and it will start to look more like one whole building, Harkleroad said.
“Now as soon as the weather turns, we’ll start seeing vertical walls going up all around the building,” he added.
Mechanical and electrical work is still ongoing, Harkleroad said. He added that site work was substantially completed over the summer before school started, including the new parking lot by the football field and the access road to the lot.
Not much site work is happening now, Harkleroad said, but bids for the road widening project — the widening of State Route 201, which will involve the Ohio Department of Transportation — are set to be opened Tuesday.
In addition to site work over the summer, several improvements were made to the existing buildings, including a remodeled computer lab and bathroom upgrades.
“Most of what we’re doing (in the older buildings) is relatively small remodeling projects,” Harkleroad said. “We’re refreshing and refurbishing our competition gym. We’re getting some new lights and some painting going on in there.”
Reach Cecilia Fox at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (937) 552-2205.