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Building the future

Jane Reuter

SUMMIT COUNTY – Contrary to exterior appearances, renovation work at Dillon Valley Elementary School is right on track.

Passers-by might question whether or not new classrooms under construction on the exterior of the building will be completed by the school’s Sept. 3 start, and Summit Schools Superintendent Wes Smith said indeed they won’t.

“That’s always been our plan,” he said. “The (interior) renovations are on schedule, so we’ll be getting into the building (on time). The south side, which is where we’re adding three classrooms, is not going to be finished. That will be fenced off by the time school begins. It’s all part of the process.”

Those three classrooms are slated for completion in late October and will be occupied in November, easing some tight spaces in the growing school.

Renovations at Breckenridge Elementary also are on track.

After school begins, “there may be trim and touchups that may take place in either evenings or weekends,” Smith said.

But Smith cautioned that the inside work at the schools isn’t likely to impress students. Most of it, he said, isn’t obvious.

“The major improvements we’re making in those schools is in the mechanical systems,” he said. “Students should be warmer, the building should have more air flow, so we think we’re making a better environment, but it’s not going to be noticeable. This investment is good for extending the life of the building and making it a better environment, but people aren’t going to be impressed when they see it.”

Smith said there really isn’t much that can be done to change the look of the interiors of either Dillon Valley or Breckenridge elementary schools.

“Those buildings were built in the 1970s style,” he explained. “There’s not much you can do with tilt-up concrete construction. It’s very unforgiving. You don’t have versatility. You have to live with what you built.”

The noticeable improvements: new furnishings and, at Dillon Valley Elementary, new playground equipment. While the playground equipment has yet to be installed, Dillon Valley Principal Gayle Jones said she’s been assured it will be there and ready for use by the first day of school.


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