Maryville R-II School District maintenance crews are hard at work this summer getting facilities ready for students, who will return to the classroom in about six weeks.
The biggest project during the break involves replacing roofs damaged in last summer's hail storm, a job the district contracted to Houseman Roofing.
With close to $1 million in damage to district buildings, the roofing project is about 75 percent complete, according to R-II Building & Grounds Superintendent Ron Wilson.
At Maryville High School, Houseman workers are laying an Energy Star coating on the roof, which Wilson expects to significantly reduce heating and cooling costs.
On other fronts, the gymnasium floor is to be re-finished. General maintenance and cleaning of hallways, classrooms and the commons area are largely complete.
Workers have been patching holes in the high school parking lot, where full-time maintenance staff have been getting some help from part-time summer employees.
Re-roofing of Eugene Field Elementary School was held up due to the heat wave. Wilson said the project should be completed soon now that temperatures cooled slightly.
When the roof is finished, Geist Heating & Air Conditioning will install nine new A/C units on top of the building.
Inside Eugene Field, Wilson and his crew have given the school a facelift. New coats of paint have been applied in almost every room and a series of dividing walls have been built.
The school used to have an open-classroom design, but student distractions have led to a change in philosophy and architecture.
Now that the new walls have been built and painted, workers are installing electrical fixtures.
The biggest summer project at Maryville Middle School was replacing carpet on the second floor, a job Wilson and his crew have completed.
Besides the big-scale work, Wilson said his team is staying busy with regular maintenance tasks.
"There are a lot of things that go on during the year," Wilson said. "We try to keep the schools up to par, within the budget of course. We have many long- and short-term goals for the school, but there is only a limited time to get them done."
Summer is crucial to maintenance efforts, Wilson said, because work in high-traffic areas is often only possible when the buildings are empty.
"It's just one of those things you have to get done," he said. "I have a great staff, and they work hard to finish these projects."
Other summer work includes changing tiles in lowered ceilings and installing more energy-efficient lighting.
Mowing is always a big job during the summer, and is one reason Wilson adds temporary workers to his 14-person staff during the break.
"We have two or three people to do the mowing," Wilson said. "And it takes them the better part of a week to get it all done."
Page 2 of 2 - Keeping the grass on the football field green is also a challenge, especially during a drought.
Wilson said that the irrigation system, though running slightly more than usual, has held up and kept the field in good condition for the upcoming season.