July and, hopefully, summer have finally arrived! From the “Bomb Cyclone” to one of the wetter springs we’ve had recently, these past weeks have been a definite weather adventure. During the 16 months that construction has been happening at Gering High School, weather, more than any other thing, has been our main nemesis. The tight construction timeline we have operated under has been squeezed by some significant weather anomalies.
That being said, the crew from Hausmann Construction has worked amazingly hard to make sure that school start and end times have not been impacted, and that we have been able to operate our high school in a reasonably normal manner. The schedule has been tight, but we’ve always been able to make it work.
The project at GHS is tracking to be mostly complete by the first day of school on Aug. 16. There are approximately 13 different parts of the school that are currently under construction. Below is an update on each of those areas and when they are tracking to be complete.
• Commons/Cafeteria and Main Entrance - this area of the building is all new construction and sits between the main gym and the office area, and should be ready for use when school begins.
• Kitchen - the new main kitchen situated in the southwest corner of the building will be operational when school begins.
• Main Gym - the main gym will be ready to have the floor stripped, repainted, and refinished by late July. Additionally, two large video boards and a new score board will be installed in late July or early August. The main gym will be ready for the start of fall sports.
• Auxiliary Gym & Wrestling Room - the new auxiliary gym and wrestling room are built north of the locker rooms. This area is nearly finished and will be ready for use when sports begin in the fall.
• Weight Room - the weight room and athletic training facility are being constructed in what used to be the upper deck on the north end of the main gym. This area is currently under construction and should be complete when school begins.
• Locker Room - the locker rooms have been fully renovated and reconstructed with additional square footage added to them. They are situated between the main gym and the auxiliary gym and, though it will be close, we anticipate being able to use them with the start of fall sports.
• Office - portions of the office which sit within the footprint of the old student commons area have been complete and in use since October. The new reception area and nurses office will also be complete soon and ready for use when school begins.
• Library - the new library situated in the center of the building has been fully functional and in service since February.
• Culinary Arts - the old kitchen and cafeteria portions of the building are being renovated into a state-of-the-art culinary arts classroom. This area should be done near the start of the school year.
• Existing Classrooms - the existing classrooms have or will be receiving new lights, ceilings, heating/air conditioning, doors, and paint. With the exception of a couple of rooms that will finish up by around Labor Day, these rooms will be ready to go when school begins.
• Freshman Academy - the old library is being fully renovated into several classrooms and a seven-classroom addition has been built on the rear of the library to makeup the Freshman Academy. The new construction and renovation are on track to be complete by the start of school.
• Auditorium and Performing Arts Center - the auditorium stage is being increased by approximately 25 feet and is currently under construction. In addition to the new square footage, the auditorium will be receiving new seating and flooring. We do not anticipate the auditorium being complete until a little later in the fall, however, it should be ready for student use when one-act play season begins after Labor Day.
• Exterior Finishes - there are many exterior finishes that are still being worked on including landscaping, paving, sign placement, etc. The front exterior of the building should be mostly complete when school begins and the remaining portions of the landscape will be completed in the fall.
GPS is excited for the completion of our high school project! Once done, we will have the most unique, state-of-the-art facility in the region and state. We are proud to be able to report that the project is staying within budget and have been repeatedly told by outside entities that we are ending up with an outstanding facility.
Later in the month, we will make a formal announcement about a ribbon cutting and grand opening ceremony. We think that it may fall during Homecoming week in late September, and hope that everyone from our community will take the opportunity to come to that event and tour our new facility at that time!
Thank you again for your support of Gering Public Schools. We have an amazing community, staff, and students. Gering is a great place to be!