One-day strike doesn’t affect school

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, August 3, 1999

On a one-day strike, plumbers didn’t show up for work Monday at the site of Albert Lea’s new high school.

Tuesday, August 03, 1999

On a one-day strike, plumbers didn’t show up for work Monday at the site of Albert Lea’s new high school. But District Facilities and Transportation Manager Bruce Olson said he didn’t expect the strike to delay the construction.

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He said at Monday’s school board meeting that he was told the plumbers expect to be back to work today.

&uot;I have some sad news,&uot; Olson told the board. &uot;The plumbers went on strike. I think they will have it resolved by the end of the day. It won’t hold up our construction, but if it went on for weeks, it would.&uot;

Olson didn’t explain the contention and no representatives of the plumber’s Rochester labor union were present at Monday’s meeting.

He said what has delayed the construction is this summer’s wet weather.

&uot;We’re about three weeks behind,&uot; he said. &uot;We were hoping to be in (the building) by September of 2000. It now looks like we will be in it in October.&uot;

But now that three sections of the new school are roofed, the construction is continuing inside the building unhampered by wet conditions.

Wings now enclosed with roofs include the pool and two classroom sections. The music section’s roof is expected next week.

&uot;It’s really interesting to watch a building going up,&uot; he said. &uot;Each roof (some sections) weighs 40 tons. Some of the pop-up panels weigh 25 tons.&uot;

Contractors have now completed connecting half of the 600 geothermal wells at the new school. When the building is constructed, these wells will heat and cool the school.

&uot;They’re adding gravel in part of the lot right now,&uot; Olson said of other progress. &uot;We now have a staging area for the construction and more parking.

&uot;The F Section (industrial area) is mostly done,&uot; he added. &uot;They’re installing the electrical system now. In the classroom section, they started doing the fireproof beams today.&uot;

In other school construction news:

* As of June 30, the district’s spent about $10.5 million of its $37.2 million referendum budget. While district voters only approved $35 million for the construction of the new school and improvements at other district facilities, the added money is from interest.

&uot;We also shared savings from Alliant Interstate Power,&uot; said District Director of Finance and Operations Mark Stotts.