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Farmington school construction projects underway

Summer school district construction projects are underway in Farmington, including solar panels that await installation on the roof of Riverview Elementary School. Kara Hildreth / contributor

Managing summer construction projects across Farmington school district can be a balancing act.

Farmington District Finance Director Jane Houska used a Jenga game analogy when she shared a referendum and summer projects update recently with the Farmington School Board.

"Every question I get, I attempt to answer and pull that piece out strategically without allowing the Jenga tower to fall," said Houska. "I am making the decisions and placing it on top and, hopefully, everything is going to stay together."

Managing the projects can be tricky since each school building hosts a schedule of activities and sports, Houska said.

New fire alarm systems will be installed at Boeckman Middle School, Riverview Elementary, Dodge Middle School and Akin, Meadowview and Farmington elementary schools this summer.

"Even though we have done a ton of planning and planning everything out, this really is really about how are we going to keep our Jenga standing upright," Houska said. "We want to remind the community, for one, we are very thankful to them for allowing and for entrusting us with their money."

Houska urged District 192 residents to be patient as district project delays are attributed to many causes, including products not being shipped and Mother Nature.

"Sometimes waiting can cause some angst, and we are working with the city," Houska said.

The district project timeline calls for Meadowview, Riverview and North Trail to be part of Phase 1 construction projects through July 5. District Phase 2 projects will be at Boeckman and Dodge Middle Schools and those are slated to be completed from July 5 to Aug. 1.

"The district solar projects are moving along, and almost all work is done except the electrical at Dodge and they are moving on to Riverview," Houska said.

Giving a word of caution to parents whose youth play outdoor sports such as softball, baseball and soccer at fields at Dodge Middle School off Akin Road, Houska said drivers must park on 208th Street.

Drivers are not allowed to park vehicles on either side of Akin Road because it serves as a main thoroughfare in town.

"Please park and be very conscientious of the neighborhood, and park on 208th Street and not Akin Road because it is not safe," Houska said.