Mansfield students see changes to buildings as classes resume

08/18/2014 3:11 PM

08/20/2014 12:30 PM

Students at almost every school in the Mansfield district will see some changes when classes begin Monday. Some might be almost unnoticeable -- new security cameras and keyless entries -- while other schools will be under construction for the entire school year.

The biggest changes will be at Wester, Worley and T.A. Howard middle schools, Summit and Mansfield high schools, and Cross Timber Intermediate School. Construction at Wester and Worley will not be completed until next fall, with workers renovating classrooms in the evenings after school. Teachers at Worley take turns moving to portable buildings while their classes and re-carpeted, while Wester teachers move to the annex building while their classrooms are renovated.

“It’s challenging, of course,” said Julia McManis, principal at Worley Middle School. “No matter how messy or chaotic it is, it’s making the process better. It won’t be exactly as it’s going to be, but it will be functional. They will not be working around students.

“It’s kind of fun to watch the progress,” said McManis, who attended Worley as a student.

Andrea Hensley, principal at Wester Middle School, is juggling students in classrooms and athletes whose locker rooms are gutted.

“Right now until they’re done, the female athletes will be moving to the field house and using the PE locker rooms to dress out,” Hensley said. “The coaches are sharing offices. Luckily, it’s a big building and we have a lot of options.

“It’s been an interesting summer and it’s really starting to look good,” she said.

Students at Donna Shepard Intermediate and Willie Brown, D. P. Morris, Kenneth Davis, and Imogene Gideon elementary schools will see a fresh coat of paint and new carpet in their classrooms, libraries and administration areas.

Most of the improvements are from the $198.53 million bond approved by voters in 2011, which includes replacing five elementary schools. The new Tarver-Rendon Elementary opened in 2013, the new J.L. Boren and Alice Ponder elementaries are currently under construction, while construction on the new Glenn Harmon and Charlotte Anderson elementaries has not started yet.

Keep up with progress on the construction projects with photos on Twitter at @misdconstruct.

Below is a list of the major projects:

Wester Middle School

The administration offices have been moved to the front of the building, where several of the front doors have been replaced with a wall and a secure entrance will be installed. The cafeteria has been painted and will have new flooring. The library has a new coat of paint. The kitchen has been gutted and is being remodeled. Construction on the new kitchen is expected to be completed by the third week of September. Until then, meals will be cooked at Asa Low Intermediate and brought to Wester.

The locker rooms in the main building have been gutted and are being renovated. Construction is expected to be completed by early October.

New paint and carpeting in all of the classrooms will continue throughout the year, with eight classrooms under construction at a time. Teachers will move to the annex, where all the classrooms have been updated, for three to four weeks while their classes are renovated.

The building also has a new roof.

Worley Middle School

The administration offices have been gutted and are being remodeled in the back of the building, which will have secure vestibule entrance, in three to four weeks. A new wall has been built to separate the two gymnasiums, and new metal bleachers will arrive soon. the band hall and A-Hall have been painted and have new flooring. Cafeteria new ceiling, lighting and paint. The skylights in the cafeteria have been removed.

New locker rooms will be added and existing locker rooms will be renovated. A new concession and storage area at the football field is also being built.

The building also has upgraded air conditioning and a new roof.

T.A. Howard Middle School

The hallways have been remodeled and classrooms have new paint, ceilings, lighting and carpeting. Students will also find new locker rooms, plus new paint and murals in the gymnasium.

The building also has new air conditioning and a new roof.

Cross Timbers Intermediate School

Classrooms and hallways have new paint, ceilings, lighting and flooring. Musicians will find a new band hall, and athletes will see new paint in the gyms.

The building also has new air conditioning.

Summit High School

Students will see a new glass wall in the entry, creating a secure entrance. Athletes will find a new junior varsity gymnasium, locker rooms, plus a concession stand, ticket booth, storage and bathrooms on the football field, which has new synthetic turf.

Installation of new paint and carpet in the classrooms should be completed by December.

Mansfield High School

A new PE gymnasium has been built on the back of the building, along with new locker rooms. The football field also has new synthetic turf, which should be installed by the first week of school.

New flooring and paint in the school’s classrooms will be part of the next package of renovations, which are expected to begin in May and take a year to complete.

J.L. Boren and Alice Ponder elementary schools

Construction on the new schools is on schedule and expected to be completed by November. J.L. Boren students, who have been attending school at the new Judy Miller Elementary campus, and Alice Ponder students, who have been at the former Tarver-Rendon building, should be able to move into the new buildings after the Christmas break.

Glenn Harmon Elementary School

New security cameras and keyless entry have been installed.

All drawings on the new school have been completed. Students will move to the Judy Miller campus during winter break. Demolition on the current school will begin in February, with construction on the new building expected to be completed by May 2016.

Charlotte Anderson Elementary School

New security cameras and keyless entry have been installed. Construction on the new Charlotte Anderson building will begin in the summer of 2016, when the students move to the Judy Miller campus.

Mary Orr Intermediate School

Renovations will begin next May, when the school will get a new band hall and major interior renovations, including air conditioning, paint, flooring, ceilings and lighting.

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