School District 2 has hired two local builders to tackle the rebuilding and renovations for McKinley and Broadwater elementary schools.
Hardy Construction will work on Broadwater and Dick Anderson/High Tech Construction will handle McKinley. High Tech is a Billings firm and was recently purchased by Dick Anderson Construction out of Helena.
“We’re really excited about it,” said Lew Anderson, SD2’s bond supervisor.
SD2 officials met with architects on Monday to map out an action plan for the two projects. The goal is to have both schools finished and running in time for classes to start in August 2015.
“We’re gonna have essentially a brand new school in less than 18 months at both sites,” Anderson said.
Voters approved a $122 million bond in November for the construction of two new middle schools, remodels on the majority of SD2’s elementary schools and the complete renovation of McKinley and Broadwater.
The renovations will preserve the schools’ facade and turn-of-the-century architecture while completely rebuilding the interiors along with adding new wings.
Work on McKinley will cost $12.9 million and at Broadwater it will cost $12.6 million.
“It’s going to be a signature piece for these builders,” Anderson said.
At McKinley, extensive work will start in the school’s basement and builders will tear down the annex. As a result some of the students will have to be moved to classrooms at the Lincoln Center downtown while construction is underway.
That move will likely affect the elementary school’s upper grades, keeping its younger students in place. The decision will be made by the school board, Anderson said.
Students at Broadwater will be able to stay put. Contractors will build the new wing first, which will allow students to stay in the old school. Once the new wing is completed, students will move there while renovations of the old building are finished.
Anderson acknowledges 18 months is a quick turnaround for the two projects but he’s confident it’ll happen. Over the last four years, the district has undertaken dozens of large, high-profile renovation projects at many of its schools, he said.
Anderson praised local builders, saying they have the skills and experience to get the job done again.