The racket of heavy machinery transforming the inside and outside of Flat Rock-Hawcreek schools is carrying with it a promise that all will be silent, complete and ready to use by the time students return from summer vacation.
Shawn Price, the school district's superintendent, said contractors have been busy since the end of the 2016-17 school year expanding the schools' parking facilities and improving Hope Elementary School's ceilings, flooring and restrooms.
They also are about to pour concrete as they convert an outdoor courtyard into a learning area.
"We're happy with how it's coming along," Price said.
Flat Rock-Hawcreek School Corp. fast tracked $426,000 in improvements after refinancing the debt incurred from a building merger in 2010 that put the campuses of Hope Elementary School and Hauser Jr./Sr. High School under one roof along Indiana 9. The refinancing cut the district's interest rate from 4.75 percent initially to just 2.2 percent on the $19 million project, freeing up about $800,000 and allowing the district to start work on jobs that had been delayed for years.
Contracts were quickly awarded for:
Creating a new 100- to 120-space parking lot north of the field house.
Milling and resurfacing in front of Hauser.
Adding a rear drop-ff at the elementary school.
Installing a new elementary school playground.
Replacing ceiling tiles in an elementary school hallway and classrooms.
Replacing flooring in 11 elementary classrooms.
Remodeling two high school restrooms and four elementary school restrooms.
Converting an outdoor courtyard into a learning area.
Price said crews responsible for the parking lot and paving already have excavated and laid base rock. He said they probably would pour asphalt by the end of June.
Ceiling tile replacement was 90 percent finished, he said, and added that floor work would finish by the end of July.
Courtyard remodeling is in its first phase.
Price said workers would pour concrete this week and finish within two. He said construction of a shelter house would come with a later phase that is not part of summer plans.