Assembly to consider Phase 2 of Dryden upgrade

Posted: Thursday, August 21, 2003

Some teachers at Floyd Dryden Middle School will start the school year Wednesday with butcher's paper and newsprint for whiteboards, but the school's current renovations will be substantially complete, school officials and contractors said.

The 30-year-old school in the Mendenhall Valley is undergoing a $5.4 million renovation that compressed two summers worth of work into one, with a bit left over this fall. The state is paying for 70 percent of the project.

Work included installing a new roof, replacing ceiling tiles and most lockers and painting and recarpeting most of the building. The school also received a new electrical system and new restrooms, and it is now more accessible to people with disabilities. Also, the gym is better lit.

"A lot of work that's being done can't be seen, but it's the type of work necessary to update the building for 30 years of future service," said Principal Tom Milliron.

Some items, such as lighting fixtures, whiteboards, classroom doors and lockers haven't arrived and will be installed next month in after-school hours, said Milliron.

The work may force some community use of the school to be shifted or curtailed during construction, he said.

"It will probably be two months or so before the whole project is completed," Milliron said. "It was originally slated to be a two-summer project, so I'm just pleased to get it knocked out in one get-go."

Sam Barber, the project's supervisor for general contractor McGraw Custom Construction of Sitka, said the work could be done by the end of September, depending on the shipping times of materials.

Parents are welcome to attend a staff meeting at 8 a.m. Monday in the library to hear a construction update, Milliron said.

Meanwhile, the Juneau Assembly is scheduled to hold a public hearing and vote Monday on a proposed ordinance to put $6.945 million in bonds for school renovations on the Oct. 7 ballot. The bonds would fund $6.52 million for further work at Floyd Dryden and $425,000 to replace water pipes at Harborview Elementary. The state is expected to reimburse 70 percent of the cost.

The Dryden work would spruce up the eighth-grade rooms; add skylights to the commons and paint the exterior; replace exterior windows, doors, the heating system and the oil tank; improve the parking lot; and provide new furnishings.

The school district previously estimated the cost of the second phase of the renovation at $4.718 million. But more refined estimates and the addition of furnishings, parking lot improvements and other work increased the cost, said city Engineering Director Roger Healy.

Eric Fry can be reached at

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