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TPS Working To Complete School Remodel Before Classes Start

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Tulsa Public Schools is pushing a hard deadline - the start of school - to finish a massive remodeling job that's turning an old junior high school into a new elementary school. Tulsa Public Schools is pushing a hard deadline - the start of school - to finish a massive remodeling job that's turning an old junior high school into a new elementary school.
"The big needs were to make it a modern school, a modern design, to accommodate all the needs that weren't there when it was constructed in 1960," Bob LaBass said. "The big needs were to make it a modern school, a modern design, to accommodate all the needs that weren't there when it was constructed in 1960," Bob LaBass said.
The cannon outside is one of the few things original and untouched, and that's staying. The cannon outside is one of the few things original and untouched, and that's staying.
TULSA, Oklahoma -

As most students in Tulsa Public Schools get ready for classes on August 22, the district is working on improvements at several magnet schools, including one that's being tripled in size and moved to a new campus.

Tulsa Public Schools is pushing a hard deadline - the start of school - to finish a massive remodeling job that's turning an old junior high school into a new elementary school.

It's the most extensive remodeling job that TPS is doing this year.

The new Eisenhower International School is taking shape at the former Nimitz Middle School building.

The remodel is so extensive, the design of the school has been turned around to face south, with two parking areas, and new driveways and sidewalks to accommodate more children and the demand for better security.

"Minimize the entry points, have it where they can come in the building, into the entry, but they can't get into the building without going through the office, incorporating security features," said Bob LaBass, TPS director of bond projects. "And we've worked with security quite a bit on that."

The taxpayers who support Tulsa Public Schools are paying $5.3 million for the renovation.

The auditorium has been dramatically improved for light and sound. The library is more than twice as big as the old one. Ramps are in place for disabled students. It has all new windows, new air conditioning, new walls, new paint, and new carpet.

It has all the new technology many other schools are waiting on, in fact it's essentially a new school building.

The cannon outside is one of the few things original and untouched, and that's staying.

"The big needs were to make it a modern school, a modern design, to accommodate all the needs that weren't there when it was constructed in 1960," LaBass said.

TPS predicts that 95 percent of the work will be done by the start of school, but some Pre-K classes will be in a temporary space, while their new classrooms are finished.

That's expected to take a couple of months.

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