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Demolition starts on Duff Elementary library
Posted in , on January 19, 2024

Demolition started over the winter break

It was noisy at Duff Elementary over the winter break.

That’s because demolition of Duff’s library kicked off over the holidays and work continued on a new gym for the school. It’s all part of the 2019 Bond project at Duff.

The demolition in the library and adjacent areas will allow for a bigger, better library. One adjacent classroom will be absorbed into the library, and the entire combined space will be entirely renovated.

“It will be great to have an updated 21st-century media center for our 21st-century learners,” said Duff librarian Stacie Farr. “Our school is one of the oldest elementary buildings in the district and it is wonderful that this bond will provide all the necessary updates for our students. What is amazing about this update is that it will impact every student and staff member. We will all benefit from this new and improved space.”

Outside, there will be no renovations for the gym. Instead, they are starting over. The very small old gym was demolished during the summer, and now the concrete slab for a new gym has been poured and the walls are starting to go up.

Duff Elementary - new gym under constructionUnlike the old gym that was separate from the main building, the new 5,030-square-foot gym addition will connect to the existing building at the southwest corner. With six basketball goals, striping for basketball and volleyball, two restrooms, an office and storage, the new facility will be a vast improvement over the old, tiny gym. Plus, the new gym will be constructed as a storm shelter, sized to accommodate the entire student and staff population.

“The impact for our students will be tremendous,” said Duff’s P.E. teacher Matt Bostick. “Not only are we receiving a larger space, but having a storage closet for all of our equipment will maximize the space we can utilize for skill practice and fitness development. In addition, the new up-to-date flooring will be more conducive to our needs and will put our students’ safety first. I anticipate an immediate and dramatically positive impact for all our Duff Mustangs.”

The new gym will be great, but this year, Duff is having to make do without one. But Bostick is making the best of it. He teaches his P.E. classes on one side of the cafeteria.

“While it might sound like an inconvenience, I consider myself fortunate to have a dedicated space for our students to learn in when the weather does not allow us to go outside,” Bostick said. “A big shout out to the district for putting temporary walls up between myself and the main cafeteria. This has really made it seem like a ‘gym’ for this school year. However, we are all super excited to have our new ‘real’ gym next school year!”

The new gym and renovated library aren’t the only projects at Duff. Additional renovations include HVAC upgrades, replacing fluorescent lighting with LEDs, new ceiling grid and tiles, renovating six restrooms and accessibility improvements.

“We know that construction is a process, and I’m so thankful to our staff and community for the patience during this challenging project, but we all know the outcome will be so worth it when all is complete,” said Duff principal Cindy Harbison. “We are super excited to have a beautiful new gym and library along with the upgrades throughout the building!”

See photos of the work at Duff.