July 17, 2014

High school campuses getting summer spruce-up

Refurbished tennis courts, cafeteria facilities and a walk-in freezer are part of Merced Union High School District’s summer maintenance projects.

Once school ends for the summer, the Merced Union High School District’s maintenance staff hits the ground running, hoping to get both routine sprucing-up and more major renovation projects done before classes resume two months later.

Several major projects have been underway at three campuses and the district warehouse, according to Ron Perez, the district’s director of maintenance and operations.

At Atwater High School, basketball and volleyball courts, along with a nearby quad area, are being refurbished by MV Construction of Atwater. The $237,378 project replaces cracked and broken surfaces that were unsafe and in terrible shape, Perez said.

Also at Atwater High, a sewer line serving the concession stand at Falcon Field is being repaired, allowing concessionaires to wash items. Todd Co. of Visalia is in charge of the $26,395 project.

Sinclair General Engineering of Oakdale is refurbishing aging tennis courts at Livingston High School and adding a sixth court in a $443,300 project.

Also at Livingston High, the aging cafeteria roof has been replaced in an $84,490 project undertaken by Graham and Pruitt of Fresno. Perez said the roof was in poor condition with constant leaks.

The Merced High School administrative office now has new carpets that accent the school colors in a $37,000 project by Builders Flooring of Merced.

At the district’s warehouse in the Castle Commerce Center, an older and smaller freezer that has been frequently breaking down is being replaced by a new and substantially larger walk-in unit built by Modern Air Mechanical of Merced. The project cost $174,565, according to Perez.

El Capitan High School’s gym got its first refinishing, with staff members working with product representatives to get the surfaces perfect. Other gym floors also get refinishing each summer.

Atwater High carpenters and plumbers just started a project to install a new three-compartment sink in the cafeteria kitchen. A stainless steel working table was installed for staff to do food preparation.

Old solid walls were demolished in the Livingston High School girls locker room to open up the space for more lockers and permit better supervision of students.

At the East Campus Educational Center’s Child Development Center, carpenters, plumbers and painters are completely revamping the kitchen to allow staff and parents to prepare food for babies. A new washer-dryer, dishwasher and stove-oven also are being installed.

Perez said it’s a tough challenge balancing employee vacations, contractors’ schedules and juggling staff projects to meet district needs. The district has 14 maintenance personnel, many of them specialists in carpentry, plumbing and electrical work. Some of these workers have their own contractor’s licenses.

The maintenance personnel are joined by 15 members of the district’s grounds staff and custodians at each campus, Perez said.

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