Sunday, July 22, 2018
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Community Building renovation underway

Activities director displaced.

Seth Ryker doesn’t mind fumbling around in his dust-filled office in the Community Building trying to find things with a flashlight.

Ryker, who is activities director for Gothenburg Public Schools, moved from the Community Building into the high school office but occasionally needs things from his first workplace.

In the high school office, he has set up shop while approximately 12,000-square feet of the cafeteria, kitchen, concession area and rest rooms are renovated and the weight room and rest rooms remodeled.

Last week, found Ryker in front of his laptop computer in the high school office as he scheduled referees for athletic events next year.

The $1.1 million renovation project is moving along, according to superintendent Mike Teahon, who said most of the demolition work is finished.

Rain last week actually helped propel construction.

“They (Paulsen Inc.) were able to commit to more manpower inside for demolition,” Teahon said.

Workers began demolition in earnest once students were dismissed for summer break which was May 18 and 19.

Nonetheless, students and the public still have access to both gymnasiums for basketball camps and other activities. They are to enter the east door of the high school for the south gym and the northwest door of the Community Building for the north gym and weight room.

Since Teahon became superintendent in 2001, he has overseen four construction projects—the demolition of the old junior-senior building and building of the new junior high, renovation of Dudley Elementary and the high school track and the current project.

Teahon complimented maintenance supervisor Jay Holmes who is the local representative involved in what comes up daily in the renovation project.

“He brings things to me as needed,” he said.

Teahon noted that the district is financially able to do this renovation and others because of long-term planning by the school board.

“It all starts with the financial part,” he said, noting that the board and administrators use a school improvement model which includes the long-range planning of facilities.

He described how things have come together in recent building projects as the perfect storm.

Enrollment grew which meant more money in aid from the state and decreased pressure on the district’s general fund.

“We were then able to fund the building fund and look toward long-range planning,” Teahon said. “The board is also comfortable, generally, in working with the financial pieces of all of this.”

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