Bailey Junior High’s new parking lot off Bowen Road is complete. But that’s just the start of the 2019 Bond project at Bailey. Now that school is out for the summer, work on the transformational project will really get going.
It’s a large, complex project that won’t wrap up until the end of 2024. With construction on different parts of the campus planned for the next 16 months at least, some flexibility and patience on the part of Bailey’s teachers, staff, students and parents will be required, but the improvements to the school will make all the inconveniences more than worthwhile.
“The bond package will benefit Bailey by adding 14 classrooms, enhance our security and upgrade our cafeteria,” Bailey principal Jason Davis said. “Although there will be some challenges with traffic and parking during the construction, the school upgrades will be an opportunity to unlock student potential.”
The project includes a large addition that will add 10 new classrooms – to replace all of the portable buildings – expand the kitchen and dining space and add a new secure main entry and administration suite. The old administration area will be converted into three regular classrooms and one science lab. The addition will also provide a storm shelter for the campus.
The existing building will also receive renovations, including a new fire sprinkler and fire alarm system. And the majority of ceilings and lighting, along with existing doors and frames, will be replaced. Athletic lockers will be replaced as well, and the north gym will get a new scoreboard and AV system, and the south gym will get new bleachers. Plus, the existing courtyard’s covered walkway will be enclosed to provide better interior student circulation for the campus.
Outside, in addition to the new parking lot on the west side of campus, the eastern parking lot will be replaced and expanded to improve traffic circulation and provide additional parking. The athletic field will also get new concessions and restrooms incorporated within the new kitchen addition. A concession counter with a roll-up shutter will open toward the athletic fields.
With school out, work on the addition is starting. First, the porch at the site of the addition will be demolished and then the new crawl space dug. Then comes piers and work on the foundation, including installing utilities.
Work will also start on the kitchen upgrades. That involves clearing out the kitchen and putting two serving lines in the existing dining space. A temporary wall will be built to separate the kitchen from the student area. The kitchen will then be gutted, so the remodel and expansion can begin. The kitchen work will last until the late spring of next year.
Inside the existing building, roughing for the new fire sprinkler will begin this summer, some classroom ceilings will be replaced and the campus will be connected to the district’s new fiber optic network.
“It’s a lot of work, but we’re taking advantage of the summer months to get as much done as possible before students come back in August,” said the project manager and Arlington ISD architect Richard Flores. “Much of the work we’ll do during the summer will position us to continue working throughout the next school year.”