The last bricks are going up on the exterior of the new 32,000-square-foot cafeteria at the new Conway High School. Next week, gypsum board will go up inside as the building crew enters the final stretch toward an August completion, said JR Wiese, project superintendent.
The building is already heated. In fact, workers worked through the Christmas Day snow to make sure that the project is finished by deadline, Wiese said.
Wiese said total cafeteria construction is between 60 to 70 percent finished. The project is also under budget, assistant superintendent Carroll Bishop said.
“We’re in good shape,” Bishop said during a recent tour.
Crews busily drilled and ran electrical wire inside. Outside bulldozers worked with dirt and gravel. Soon, officials expect to install the windows. In about a month, the floors will go down, Bishop said.
The district has spent “somewhere in the $30 million plus range” to get this far on its multi-phase plan, Bishop said. The cafeteria and connecting walkways are Phase II of the district’s plan. The final phase will mostly be smoothing out asphalt areas, Bishop said.
Bishop said the new cafeteria will serve the area for years to come, despite a growing population. He said those things were taken into account when officials decided on the spacious cafeteria that will allow the high school to seat 1,000 students at once.
Bishop has already ordered tables that will go in the cafeteria, he said.
Instead of three lunch hours, the high school will have plenty of room to switch back to two lunch hours. And, with a newly designed kitchen and several different lines for food service, Bishop said he expected the new cafeteria to be efficient.
The building looks good, but more importantly, it’s built to last, Bishop said.
“It’s really going to be nice,” Wiese said. “I think the right word is durable. If it stands the test of time, we’ve done good.”
(Staff writer Scarlet Sims can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 505-1246. To comment on this and other stories in the Log Cabin, log on to www.thecabin.net. Send us your news at www.thecabin.net/submit)