Tulsa Public Schools start classes next week with several newly renovated buildings. Some of the multi-million dollar projects will wrap up in the last few days before students return.
At Will Rogers High School, the district is completing a partial renovation at cost of $4.5 million dollars. The interior, except for the auditorium, has been repainted, classrooms have new walls, flooring and doors, and the library has new lighting and furniture. Teachers will be able to move in materials this week.
The Rogers project is the most expensive and complicated renovation project that TPS took on this summer, but other schools are getting attention as well. The district is reconfiguring Monroe Demonstration School at a cost of $4 million, while Cooper Elementary and Edison Middle are being renovated for $2 million dollars each.
Chris Hudgins, the Bond Projects Manager for TPS, was overseeing the final stages of construction at Rogers Monday, while movers were loading in equipment still needing to be installed. At the end of school last year, the district moved everything out of the school and now is moving everything back in.
Hudgins pointed out the original science lab, where original wood shelving and cabinets were repaired instead of being replaced.
“We saved all these. We put a light stain on them and kind of cleaned them up,” Hudgins said.
Old wood counter tops were coated to protect against chemicals, and outdated electrical and plumbing was brought up to modern code making it safer for students.
On the second floor, the district rebuilt bathrooms with modern fixtures, yet replaced the original marble walls with new marble from the same quarry. Elsewhere in the building, a less expensive replacement was used.
While some of the work started before the end of classes, the district reports the year begins with 14 new classrooms, and 3 safe rooms in Tulsa Schools.