Column: Construction starts early, creates chaos calamity


Becca Meusch

Recently, B-D construction has been busy pouring concrete for the footings of the new weight room and commons area. Construction has been slowed down by the snow and ice lately, but it is still planned to be finished by Oct. 28, 2016.

Becca Meusch

As I make the snowy, treacherous walk to our current weight room across the street for my fitness training class, I take a moment to appreciate that this is the last year I will have to prepare for the walk over. Construction for the new weight room and commons area is already in progress, but all I can see is the parking dilemma and complete disarray caused by the construction process starting early.

After a phone call from B-D construction asking to start construction prior to the expected start date in March, David City Public Schools Superintendent Chad Denker agreed to initiate the long process right as school ended for Christmas break on Dec. 22.

By the next day, the construction company had already torn down the north gym entrance, east sidewalk, and cut down all trees on the north side of the high school. Currently, B-D construction is busy pouring cement for the footings of the new addition. Denker said that block foundation and walls will continue through February and March. Steel erection is set to begin in April, and the interior work should begin in May.  

Little did they know of the problems that were yet to occur due to starting ahead of time. This plan all depends on the weather, and unfortunately construction started at a time when receiving snow and ice has become a daily ritual. According to Superintendent of B-D Construction, Adam Lindgren, the weather has been slowing them down as they have had to use special heaters to thaw the frozen ground in order to dig.

With construction starting early, it also called upon the permanent closing of Eighth street on the east side of the school. The closing of the street eliminated the crosswalk and resulted in the creation of a new snow-packed and icy path to take to the cafeteria at the elementary school.

For parents, it has become more stressful to drop off their kids in the morning which now jams up Seventh street on the west side of the school due to the sudden closing of Eighth street. While trying to find a place to park one day, I came upon a long line of cars and students running inside. This seems dangerous near an intersection consisting of no stop signs.

The construction process has also eliminated 25 parking spots on the north and east sides of the school, creating a parking predicament. Construction began during one of the most hectic parts of the school year with basketball games, wrestling meets, and various other events being hosted at David City High School.  

Students, teachers, and all visiting spectators are constantly trying to find parking spots. Students and staff are able to purchase their own stall at the beginning of the school year from the Student Council. Due to the parking pandemonium, many people have lost their spots and the whole situation has turned into a mad free-for-all.

It becomes confusing to remember all the details of where students can and cannot park. Parking has become a hassle trying to avoid taking teacher spots while also fighting underclassmen for a spot around the school or church before parking east of the current weight room. Even then, these parking areas aren’t enough to hold all the fans that come for various school events.

With the parking, weather, and other inconveniences, there are some benefits to construction starting early. While it is set to still be finished on Oct. 28, Lindgren said there is potential to finish early, in fact, it is their personal goal. He said he doesn’t foresee any setbacks, but delivery dates and back orders on materials could possibly be a factor.   

Denker and the School Board wished to wait until March to begin construction to avoid conflicts during the busy basketball season. However, this allowed for Oct. 28 to be a true completion date.

Weather is playing a huge role at the moment, so starting early may not be as much as an advantage as originally thought. Although the project comes with many hindrances, DCPS is always coming up with new ways to work out the small kinks. Because of this, I’m happy with construction and the process starting early, regardless of the fact that it’s created a few flaws.