School improvements moving along in Williams

Trustees for the Williams Unified School District looked over carpet swatches and paint samples at their regular meeting last Thursday to get a clearer picture of what the new multipurpose room at the elementary school will look like when completed.

The new building will be largely earth tones, with colorful hexagon-shape acoustic fabric tiles on the inside to add character and reduce noise, officials said.

The school board selected colors for the new building more than a year ago, but until last week had only seen a digital image of what the school would look like.

“It’s going to look fantastic when it’s done,” said Jeff Threet, of Stone Creek Engineering, who is overseeing the project.

Construction is moving swiftly at Williams Elementary School on the new building, which will have an all-new modern kitchen, cafeteria, and student dining area.

Construction crews were still excavating and repacking soil on the first day of school Aug 7, but finished the building pad and base rock last week. Threet said the crew will roll right into the foundation work.

“It just looks fantastic,” Threet said. “Our construction crew did a fantastic job. By the next board meeting, we should actually see walls going up.”

By September, the school board should also have a clearer picture of the total cost of the current projects, as contingency funds continue to dwindle.

Contractors were able to finish the playground and parking lot for use before the first day of school, and light fixtures should be installed by the end of September.

The project at the elementary school also included new walkways around the buildings and new drinking fountains with water bottle fillers.

The school district also plans to move forward with improvements at the high school, including a new floor, north wing and south wing improvements, and construction of two new classrooms, although not all of the funding has yet been secured, Threet said.

District voters approved an $11 million school construction bond in 2016 to modernize and renovate outdated classroom, restrooms, and school facilities; make safety and handicap improvements; replace portables with permanent classrooms; expand libraries; and other improvements that will allow the district to meet 21st century educational standards, district officials said.

The school board issued $4 million in general obligations bonds in May 2018 for the current projects, which included replacing wiring systems to meet current electrical and accessibility codes, as well as to increase capacity. ■