South St. Louis County News

St. Louis Call Newspapers

South St. Louis County News

St. Louis Call Newspapers

South St. Louis County News

St. Louis Call Newspapers

School facilities improved over Mehlville summer break

Board of Education hears summer project wrap-up, ongoing projects
Proposition S construction at Blades Elementary School in the Mehlville School District on Aug. 15, 2022.

Several facilities projects in the Mehlville School District were completed this summer, with others scheduled to be completed throughout the school year and into next summer. 

Projects included kitchen ceiling replacement, roof replacements, HVAC, asphalt repair and tuckpointing at multiple different buildings, Facilities Director Mike Gegg said during a project update at the Aug. 18 Board of Education meeting. Funding for the projects came from different sources, including the $35-million bond Proposition S, federal Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief money and the district’s capital fund.  

Roof replacements at Beasley Elementary and John Cary Early Childhood were completed this summer. They were originally slated to be completed in fiscal year 2022, but labor shortages postponed the project to later on this summer. 

The roof replacement at Bierbaum Elementary was completed in March; Point Elementary’s replacement has started but supply delays have postponed that project’s completion until summer 2023. Gegg said the back portion of Point is complete however. The replacement at Trautwein is “about 60 percent” finished, said Gegg, with the rest scheduled to be finished during the school year. 

“That’s just a cover-up, so it’s not as noisy as a tear-off,” Gegg said. 

The replacement at Wohlwend will start in summer 2023 due to supply shortages. Washington Middle is being staged and will be completed during the school year. The replacement at Mehlville High School will most likely begin next summer. 

HVAC replacement projects, funded by ESSER, “went smooth” at Beasley, Point and Oakville Elementary, while the HVAC replacement at Rogers Elementary is about 98-percent complete. That project is funded by Prop S and should be completed in the next few weeks. 

Asphalt sealing and striping was done at several locations, along with concrete work on the driveways at Beasley and John Cary. Beasley also got a new kitchen ceiling and new paint to “brighten up the kitchen.” 

Tuckpointing work at the district’s pool will be completed within the next month, while tuckpoint projects at Point and Wohlwend will be completed in summer 2023. 

“Last year it was labor, this year it’s the supply chain,” Gegg said of the delays. “(Hopefully) the supply chain will be better next year.” 

Proposition S projects

Several Prop S projects also got underway this summer across the district. Like other facilities projects, some Prop S-specific projects were completed during the summer while others will continue into the fall 2022 semester.

 One of the more extensive projects started over the summer was the installation of the security vestibule at Bierbaum Elementary, which required the relocation of some of the school’s offices and classrooms. Because of the scope of work, that project will continue throughout the school year, Superintendent Chris Gaines said at the Aug. 18 meeting. 

“We’re not able to tear down and rebuild it in a summer,” Gaines said. 

The Oakville Elementary parking lot is another project that is underway and will continue through the school year. Gaines said the first layer of asphalt has been put down and the lower portion of the parking lot is usable but the overall project is expected to be completed in November. 

Another extensive project is the upgrades at Blades Elementary – its offices have also been relocated and there is currently a temporary entrance into the school. There are temporary walls inside the building separating the construction areas from the students while still allowing students to move around the building. 

“We got temporary walls to separate the construction areas between the old office … and what was the old music room,” Gaines said. 

The bathroom renovations and secure entry vestibule at Oakville High School are also nearing completion. Construction crews are still waiting on glass to come in for the entryway and the final touches on the bathrooms are mostly “just punch list items.” 

“Any layperson would walk into the restrooms and say ‘Oh my gosh, these are really nice.’ The challenge is the (Americans with Disabilities Act) stalls … are too low to the ground so we have to correct that,” Gaines said. “But really, Oakville High is just punch list items and those restrooms are so much better.”

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