Following are various projects that have been completed in Union Public Schools for the past few years.
Grove Elementary School - click here for pictures
After two years and $9 million, the Grove Elementary School remodel project is finished. A school remodel project is always difficult but more so when the students and teachers are holding class in the school while construction is under way. There was a great team working on this project; architects - PSA Dewberry, construction managers - Flintco, LLC, and Union staff. A huge thank you goes to the Grove students and staff for not only surviving the two years of construction but thriving. The newly remodeled Grove had many dramatic and simple changes, far too many to list. Below are just a few of the major ones:
Union Public Schools hosted an open house for the new Union baseball/softball complex behind Union Intermediate High School, 7616 S. Garnett, on January 11, 2010.
The $5.5-million project was built with bond funds approved by voters in 2006, 2008 and 2009. Construction began in October 2008. The new complex features a facility that houses locker rooms for baseball and softball, a weight room, coaches' offices, restrooms, ticket booth, a training room, storage and boasts a 130' x 130' high bay space that includes artificial turf and six batting cages for "infield and hitting practice." The project also included improvements to drives, handicap accessibility and plaza/sidewalk pedestrian paths.
The complex is located on the existing baseball/softball complex just west of the Intermediate High School. Previously, the campus had three fields. With the completion of this project, there will be a total of four lit fields: two for baseball, one for fast pitch softball and one for slow pitch softball.
Performing Arts Center
Construction was completed at the Union Performing Arts Center at Union High School, 6636 S. Mingo, in January 2010. The PAC features new chairs, flooring, lights and handicapped-accessible seating. The PAC will open shortly after the holidays. The photos below were taken December 1, 2009.
Grove Elementary School - click here to download large version of rendering
Voters in the Union school district approved a $20 million bond issue by a whopping 83.6 percent February 10, 2009.
Superintendent Cathy Burden said she thought it was remarkable that the bond issue got a "supermajority" approval of at least 60 percent.
"We feel like in this economy particularly, that it's a real testament to the district that people know educating kids is a high priority," she said. "Of course, since this did not increase taxes, it's no wonder that our community was supportive."
High School Media Center
The High School Media Center was renovated in the fall of 2008 and opened in the spring of 2009. Improvements included opening up the front of the Media Center by removing bathrooms that were blocking the front of the Media Center from the Commons area and installing a wall of glass that allows students to see clear through to the back wall of the Media Center. The original red carpet was removed and replaced with updated flooring which included laminate wood flooring and new vinyl back carpet squares.
The circulation desk was moved closer to the new front entry and was revised to accommodate updated technologies. The existing library shelving was reused and reorganized to enhance the layout of the Media Centers book collection. The computer lab was moved to a new room and updated to accommodate 40 computers or students at a time. New chairs will be purchased to use with the existing tables, and soft seating areas were added for use by students.
Central Park at Union
Central Park became Union Public Schools “Main Street.” The park is located behind the 6th/7th Grade center just off of Mingo near 61st Street. The project had its grand opening September 26, 2008. Voters approved the construction of the new park as part of two different bond issues.
The first phase included a JV/Intramural style football field, space for soccer and baseball, a concession stand, restrooms, a play area for younger children, and a track that circles the property for anyone interested in jogging or running. The second phase, which began in the summer of 2008, is under way and will include other improvements such as an outdoor classroom, additional running track, baseball backstops, and will utilize the existing basketball courts.
Thomas Jefferson Elementary School
Thomas Jefferson Elementary School, 8418 S. 107th E. Ave., opened on Thursday, August 14, the 13th elementary school in Union Public Schools. Voters approved the construction and furnishing of the school through a series of bond elections starting in 2006. The first bond election was for $2.5 million for site development, soil testing, engineering and architectural consultants. The second bond election in 2007included $9.5 million for construction of the site, while voters approved another $1.9 million for furniture, fixtures and equipment at the school.
The new school is modeled after Rosa Parks Elementary School. While the school is slightly smaller in area, the ceilings are slightly higher to give the appearance of more room in the school.
The old education service center was renovated to house the alternative education program. With this renovation the alternative education program expanded their student body to include 6th/7th and 8th Graders. In 2010, the middle school campus was closed due to state budget cuts but plans are under way to utilize space at the site for other existing programs.
Intermediate High School Classroom Addition
Eight classrooms were added to the Intermediate High School on the north side. The classrooms were ready for the 2007/2008 school year and house standard curriculum classes.
6th / 7th Grade Center
The 6th / 7th Grade Center received a face lift in summer 2007. The project included removing the existing wallpaper and trim molding and replacing it with a ceramic tile wainscot paired with speckled paint in the hallways. All of the common areas like the cafeteria, hallways and media center are received new carpet and tile.
Elementary #12 - Rosa Parks Elementary School
Union’s 12th elementary was completed summer 2006 and was opened for the 2006/2007 school year. The building was dedicated on October 24, 2007 and was given the name “Rosa Parks Elementary.” The new elementary contains 30 classrooms of grades Pre-K through 5th grade. It was built to alleviate overcrowding in some of our elementary schools and to accommodate a full day kindergarten program district wide. The facility contains a full-size gymnasium, cafeteria with full-service kitchen, art, science, music and computer classrooms. It also houses a “Bedlam Clinic” which is a healthcare program in partnership with the University of Oklahoma that serves Title 1 students and their families.
8th Grade Center Addition and Renovation
This project completed summer of 2006 and was a two phase project. The first phase completed in October of 2005 and consisted of renovating the current science classrooms, adding four more science classrooms, the addition of a media center and a face lift of the hallways. The facelift included removing all of the old sisal wall covering and quarry tile and replacing them with a ceramic tile wainscot, speckled paint and new floor covering. The building had been nicknamed “the cave” so in the renovations windows were added and light fixtures were upgraded to improve the overall lighting of the space. The second phase included adding classrooms and administration offices to the front of the building, and adding 3,000 square feet to the cafeteria. The rest of the building was also given a facelift which completed the removal of the sisal wall covering and quarry tile that was started in Phase I.
Unions championship soccer team has had their own soccer field for years, but never had locker room and training facilities. In March of 2006, the soccer building was opened which houses both girls and boys soccer teams. There are coaches’ offices, locker rooms, a shared weight room, public restrooms and a concession stand within the facility.
New Education Service Center
Union’s Administration moved their offices in December of 2006. With this move Departments that had been spread across the District were able to move into one facility, freeing up space in our schools. The Linde Building was purchased in the spring of 2005, the tenants vacated the building in July of 2006 and renovations began in August. The building had not been updated since it was built and repairs to the windows were badly needed. The building was stripped of its floor coverings, wallpaper and ceilings, and then were replaced. Half of the windows were replaced and new weather-stripping was installed. A few wall changes were made to accommodate different departments and a new board room was created along with four classrooms for professional development and extended education.