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Phase I of renovation behind schedule

By By Steve Gillespie/The Meridian Star
July 26, 2001
Students and teachers returning to Meridian High School in two weeks will have to make a few adjustments while a $2 million renovation project continues around them.
Principal James Bounds said the first phase of the project is running about a week over its 60-day contract because of delays in delivery of equipment. That could mean students on the second floor of the main building won't have air-conditioning for the first week of school.
Bounds said some roofing work and renovation on the second floor of the activities building will continue after school starts.
Classes that will be relocated due to construction include band, which will be held in a building on the football practice field. Art and drama classes will be held in the cafeteria. Art classes will also be set up in the library science building. Chorus and strings classes will be held in the auditorium.
In addition to a new air-conditioning system for the main building, the first phase of renovation includes replacement of electrical wiring and lighting for the library science and activities buildings, renovation of restrooms and installation of new fire alarm systems.
Phase two, which runs concurrently, includes replacing the roofs on the library science and main buildings and completion of the renovation of the activities building. An addition to the activities building to expand classroom, office and storage space and the cafeteria improvements will be completed during phase three. The fourth and final phase of the renovation includes new flooring and lighting for the cafeteria.
School district officials are proposing a change in traffic flow around the high school due to construction but they hope the change will be permanent.
The plan, which will be submitted to the Meridian City Council for approval, includes installation of a manually operated switch for traffic signals at the intersections of 23rd Avenue and 32nd Street and 23rd Avenue and 31st Street. This will allow school employees to activate the signals as buses exit onto 23rd Avenue.
School officials also want to restrict 32nd Street traffic from Poplar Springs Drive to 23rd Avenue for school business only from 7:30 a.m.-4 p.m. and make 24th Avenue one way heading south from the high school gymnasium to the Baptist Center.
Steve Gillespie is a staff writer for The Meridian Star. Call him at 693-1551, ext. 3233, or e-mail him at sgillespie@themeridianstar.com.

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