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Progress

Open for business

Link opens at PCM Middle School, work begins on high school

The new joint-main office in the Link building between Prairie City Elementary and PCM Middle School connects the two buildings and also adds kindergarten classrooms, conference room and a nurses office. The link opened March 19.
The new joint-main office in the Link building between Prairie City Elementary and PCM Middle School connects the two buildings and also adds kindergarten classrooms, conference room and a nurses office. The link opened March 19.

Progress on the PCM Community School District’s $20 million facilities renovation project has come a long way since voters approved a $10 million bond to fund the campaign in February 2016.

Construction at Monroe Elementary School is complete, a design for additions and upgrades to PCM High School have been approved and work at all four district school buildings has been relatively smooth, according to PCM officials.

March 19 was another milestone in the project. The Link — an enclosed corridor with new classrooms and office space connecting Prairie City Elementary and PCM Middle School — officially opened to staff and students. The addition is the most visible sign yet that PCM is well on its way to its new look.

“This project went really well,” PCM Superintendent Brad Jermeland said. “For the Link piece, we’re still working out a few things with the heating and cooling, but overall it’s been good. The building has had to endure construction for a whole year. After I while I understand things build up, but overall, it’s coming to a close.”

The Link includes a large, open atrium that serves as shared administrative office space for both PCM and the middle school, new kindergarten classrooms, nurse’s office, a conference room and much needed storage space.

Construction at PCE is ongoing, transforming the old main office into a special education room. Jermeland said PCM Middle School still needs many smaller cosmetic components like new lockers and baseboards.

Last week, school buses began dropping off and picking up in the newly cemented bus lane on Plainsman Road. The back parking lot, where parents currently drop off and pick up students, will be paved starting June 11.

At PCM High School, demolition and grading has already began to make way for classroom additions to the west side of the building. End-loaders, backhoes and graders are enlarging the retention pond and April 2 is the real demo day. That’s when work begins on electrical demolition, relocation of domestic water lines, demoing the asphalt student parking lot and the portable classroom with more work to come throughout the summer and next school year.

The high school construction is being done in two phases. The major work, such as HVAC and additions will be done in 2018, and smaller projects will be complete next summer, Jermeland said.

The school board also agreed in March to interview three architectural firms to get bids on PCM’s football stadium and track renovation. These renovations would include replacing the aging press box and making repairs to the track’s cracking and warping due to nearby tree route systems.

The funds for the stadium renovations were not included in the main $20 million project and would be paid for using money from PCM’s local options sales tax fund not the bond, Jermeland said.

Contact Mike Mendenhall at mmendenhall@myprairiecitynews.com

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