Scott renovation on time, despite death of site superintendentWritten by Kristen Criswell | | firstname.lastname@example.org
After serving as site superintendent for six Toledo Public Schools (TPS) building projects, Robert Davis returned to his neighborhood to oversee the renovation of Scott High School.
Davis worked for R. Gant LLC, one of three firms that make up LGB, which oversees construction management of TPS Building for Success Program. The other two firms are Lathrop Co. and Barton Malow.
“To say he was excited wouldn’t be the right word,” said Roosevelt Gant, owner of R. Gant LLC. “He was looking forward to going back to Scott. That was his dream job — to go back and be site superintendent for the renovation of his alma mater.”
On Aug. 26, two weeks before the media’s tour of Scott High School, Davis died in a motorcycle accident.
“He was the most experienced site superintendent in the Building for Success Program and definitely a big part of the project,” Gant said.
“Once we’re finished and the school is dedicated in 2012, we hope to remember [Davis].”
Despite Davis’ death, Scott’s renovation is on schedule. Work on the building began in April, and currently the inside is being demolished while the outside is being restored.
“We haven’t run into anything that would throw [the schedule] off at this point. All contractors and subcontractors have been selected. Our next milestone is in early 2011 when the exterior restoration will be completed,” Gant said.
Demolition inside the nearly 100-year-old building has uncovered stained-glass windows in the cafeteria and opened skylights that were covered by dropped ceilings.
“It’s coming along. You have to be able to appreciate demolition and see past the dust and have an idea of what it’s going to look like after,” said Treva Jeffries, Scott director and 1992 graduate. “I saw some things that kind of amazed me. Walls were knocked down and, since I was familiar with the blueprints, I can see what it’s going to look like.”
Once demo is complete, plumbing, electrical and mechanical contractors will update the building, Gant said.
Jeffries hopes the school will become a central rebuilding point for the neighborhood once renovations are finished.
“I think not only the students, but the entire community will have a sense of pride in the building,” she said.
The technology and investment being made during renovations will help students in the long run, Jeffries said.
“In order for you to have 21st century education, you need technology. What we’re teaching the children for today are jobs that may not even exist yet,” she said. “This new technology will put us on an even playing field with those that have technology already.”
Scott’s renovation is costing approximately $42 million, with the Ohio School Facilities Commission (OSFC) footing 77 percent of costs. The rest of the funding comes from a $37 million bond issue approved by voters in 2008.
“I’m very pleased with renovations at this point. It’s a lot different than building from the ground up,” said Lisa Sobecki, TPS board member and chairwoman of the buildings committee. “There is commitment from LGB, the state and the board to stay on time. If something comes up that is unknown, we’ll address that in a very timely fashion.”
Renovation must be completed by Dec. 31, 2011, as part of OSFC regulations. Students should be able to return to the building in January 2012, Sobecki said.
After all renovations are done, Scott will feature air conditioning and house an elevator.
Prior to having contractors bid on the renovation, mock rooms were built to give contractors an idea of what was expected, so bids could be more accurate, Sobecki said.