While school’s out for the summer, work continues for several projects at Grant Union Junior-Senior High School.

The gym and the new automotive shop continue to see progress as both projects look to be finished prior to the new school year.

The gym is looking at an addition of new flooring and bleachers for visitors and students to enjoy.

Grant Union Principal Ryan Gerry said the bleachers have been in the works for several years because the current bleachers were installed in 1974.

“They recognized the need for an update with the bleachers system we currently had in place,” Gerry said.

Two years ago the floor was re-sanded, and last summer, while seismic upgrade work was underway on the gym and other areas of the building, the entire floor was damaged when a rain storm came throughr. Repairs were made on the damaged areas prior to the 2019 basketball season, but now the floor is being replaced through insurance.

“We took the opportunity to pair them both up at the same time, and if we’re going to get a new floor, this is the time to get new bleachers as well,” Gerry said. “We’re really excited for the opportunity to get it all done in one fell swoop.”

While COVID-19 shifted education to distance learning and left school buildings closed with less traffic than before, the silver lining was that it did allow the time frame of this project be bumped up while saving the district money.

With the closure, the district didn’t have to pay to have the bleachers removed, which saved quite a bit of money, according to Gerry. Hiring out to have the bleachers removed would have cost about $50,000.

They were able to have the district’s maintenance staff help get the bleaches out and remove the floor.

“The whole COVID situation has not been great, but this has allowed for some projects to take place, and so we were able to remove the floor and the bleachers on our own,” Gerry said.

Currently, Hicks Brothers Wood Floors of Meridian, Idaho, are installing the floor and finishing the sanding. They will also work on painting and striping of the line.

In the first part of August, Nor-Pac Seating Inc. will be putting in the bleachers, and the facility should be ready by the start of the school year. The new bleachers will be ADA compliant, and each section will have four walking aisles with handrails, according to Gerry.

The funds for the new shop came from High School Success — funds from Measure 98 — to build this facility to provide more space for the growing career and technical education automotive program at Grant Union.

This project started in October, and the plan is to have it ready to go for the start of the 2020 school year.

“This is really going to free up our metal shop, because right now, we’re running our metals program with Mr. (Wayne) Suchorski and Mr. (Jason) Miller’s automotive classes out of the same building,” Gerry said. “This will free up a lot of room for our students and allow each program to flourish.”

Electrical work, adding three-bay garage doors, completing the firewall, adding a restroom and moving the equipment are some of the last things to complete the project, according to Gerry.

“We put a lot of energy into these projects, and we’re excited for the completion and the unveiling of these projects for our students and community,” Gerry said.


Rudy Diaz is a reporter for the Blue Mountain Eagle. Contact him at rudy@bmeagle.com or 541-575-0710.

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