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Progress continues on CCA school projects

Work continues on the footings for the CCA’s elementary school in Tiffin. The project met another minor delay as a large vein of clay was found running through the site, which needed to be removed. The school is scheduled to open in the fall of 2015. (Photo by Chris Umscheid)

OXFORD — Ray Willoughby started his building projects report to the Clear Creek Amana (CCA) school board with a little bit of good news.
“Ben (Macumber, principal of Amana Elementary) got his air turned on fully tonight,” Willoughby said, referring to the completion of a $453,000 renovation project at the school. Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) work, along with electrical upgrades throughout the building, are two of several projects funded by a $48 million bond issue approved by voters in February for renovation and expansion.
Willoughby said there were a few minor glitches to work out, but overall, the major improvements throughout the school building were up and running. The HVAC system is able to be controlled remotely by building and grounds director Maury Gallagher. The project came in close to budget, with an unexpected expense for asbestos removal, as well as some lights, conduit, ceiling tile and smoke detector replacements.
At the new elementary site in Tiffin, work continues on the footings for the new school. “They’re moving right along with that,” Willoughby said. Some sub-grade repair work was needed as a large vein of clay– which Shive-Hattery’s Keith Johnk described as having the consistency of Play-Doh– was found and had to be removed.
At the middle school in Tiffin, work was to begin on the Geopiers, or “Rammed Aggregate Pier” system, which is constructed with densely compacted layers of crushed rock in cavities drilled into the ground. The Geopiers provide greater stability with less settling for foundations in soil that’s less than desirable. Geopiers were also used in the addition to North Bend Elementary.
A delay in the project came when South Slope Communications was called to relocate some fiber-optic lines, a project Willoughby estimated would take two to three days to complete. Willoughby and the board expressed frustration with a number of delays on South Slope’s part to getting the lines moved.
“You can hear every excuse under the sun (over a three-week period),” Willoughby said. He acknowledged that South Slope had committed to a major project with Alliant Energy, which tied up South Slope’s crews. “I’ve tried,” Willoughby said. “I’ve rattled their cages every morning. All I can do is hang on like a dog until they show up.”