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Summer upgrade at schools include TCHS office, windows, teachers’ lounge

By Kayleigh Rahn
Soon the hallways will be buzzing with student activity; however Tuscola Community Unit Schools have seen plenty of action through the summer work as contractor’s wrap up the summer 2018 construction.

“It’s taken us a while to weed through some of these things that are less than exciting,” said Tuscola school Superintendent Michael Smith. “We’re working through costs and timing. We’ve worked to prioritize what fits best within the construction budget and how best to utilize contractors’ time. All in all we are lucky to have these opportunities.”

Each year, the district has used the income from the 1 percent Douglas County sales tax to complete the upgrades throughout the district. As of July 2018, the district had brought in $2.99 million from the 1 percent Douglas County sales tax.

In all the summer work was estimated to come in at around $481,277.


At the high school, crews worked to complete the new window installment, Smith said. This summer marked the completion of the new windows that included the west facing wall of the school from the green house south around the band room. The installment process also included asbestos removal.

“At the high school, we also painted the office and put down new carpet, which is about 10 years too late but better late than never,” Smith said.

A long-awaited update also came for the TCHS teachers’ lounge. The room was overhauled including ceiling tile, fresh paint, new cabinetry, updated garbage disposal, new flooring. Wiring was updated as needed.

“The areas, like the refrigerator, that was were on carpet will now be on tile,” Smith noted. “It’s all tied together and looks really nice.”

Staff bathrooms in the freshman hallway have also been overhauled, including fixtures, paint, tile, and the replacement of the doorframe that had been damaged. The single bathroom in the industrial arts room was also redone with the crew on site.

“We had the plumbers here working on the bathrooms, so they could get started on the lounge, so we try to tie it together as financially feasible as possible,” Smith said. “In the high school office, a big cost of that was the asbestos removal of the tile that was under the carpet. One thing really does lead to another.”

Finally tuck-pointing at the high school has been completed except the upper portion of the gymnasium walls. Smith noted the upper portion of the east wall is in particularly rough shape and will need to be addressed in the coming years.

The full story can be found in the Wednesday, Aug.  8 edition of The Tuscola Journal.


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