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FWCS board approves $3.8 million in construction work for Irwin Elementary

Wednesday, February 12, 2014 - 5:40 am

One of Fort Wayne Community Schools' aging elementary schools is now slated for various renovations as the board of trustees Monday approved more than $3.8 million in funding for contracts.

Irwin Elementary, 3501 S. Anthony Blvd., will undergo electrical, plumbing, security and other renovations starting this summer and concluding next summer. Robert E. Crosby Inc. will perform the vast majority of the work at a contracted cost of $3.77 million to the district, while Automated Logic will be paid $180,000 to perform work on proprietary automation systems at the school, according to information provided by the district.

Robert E. Crosby's bid was the lowest of three submitted; Hagerman Group and Shawnee Construction & Engineering were the other bidders.

A security vestibule will also be built into Irwin; the vestibule will mean that visitors will not be able to walk directly into the school building from outdoors but will instead enter an enclosed area in order to enhance building safety.

The funding is derived from the $119 million referendum passed by voters in 2012 that is meant to repair and upgrade various facilities in the district, many of which are many decades old.

Under prompting from board member Steve Corona, Zach Evans, the district's coordinator of capital projects, explained that Irwin Elementary was originally built in 1927 and had an expansion completed in 1965.

Snow days continue to vex district

On Tuesday, district spokeswoman Krista Stockman said FWCS will wait for more guidance from the state Department of Education before deciding how it will address the number of days it will have to make up in order to meet the state's required 180 days of instruction.

The district already has missed 11 days of school this winter due to heavy snowfall and bitterly cold temperatures. FWCS is currently scheduled to have its last day of school on June 11, with graduation scheduled for June 13-14.

FWCS received waivers for two of the 11 daysand had three more days built into its schedule to make up for time missed. That leaves the district with six more days of missed instruction that need to be accounted for before the school year is complete.