Lights Out!

MUHS closed five days for electrical switchover

Power was shut down Friday morning to Mingus Union High School for the installation of new electrical service. Power is scheduled to be off until late Tuesday.

It's a critical step in the renovation project, according to Steve Blankenship, project manager for the school district. The old service panels must be pulled out and the new service installed. APS installed a new transformer Monday, during an upgrade from 2,000-amp service to 2,500-amp service.

The internal electrical work, from the service feeder throughout the building, was scheduled to follow the work by APS.

Blankenship said work is going very well on phase one of the $15 million renovation of the campus on Fir Street.

"We're moving fast," he said. The project was slowed somewhat early on by problems with soil under some of the floors. But Blankenship said the schedule hasn't been slowed by much.

"I think we did remarkable," he said. "I'm very proud of us. I think we've done a great job."

The total renovation is divided into three phases. Originally scheduled to be completed by mid-August, phase one is now expected to be done by Sept. 3. Blankenship thinks the original date was unrealistic.

Phase one deals with a lot of infrastructure work. "We've got at least 30 percent of the project in this phase," Blankenship said.

The project is now under budget by $118,000. "We're completing about 30 percent of the project for 26 percent of the budget," he said.

In addition to the electrical work, phase one includes the complete renovation of the gymnasium, including refinishing the floor and putting in new bleachers.

The small gymnasium is also undergoing considerable renovation, which includes all new finishes.

The boys and girls locker rooms are being completely renovated, and a new weight room is being built.

Another major project in phase one is replacement of all the evaporative coolers with a new air conditioning system. Major remodeling of two large bathrooms near the cafeteria is included in the current construction phase.

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