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Summer is busy at district schools

Construction equipment and dirt piles have dominated the front of Rosemount High School this summer. Waterproofing the school's foundation is one of several projects under way this summer.

The halls of Rosemount's schools are emptier during the summer, but that doesn't mean things are much quieter. With most students off taking vacation or working summer jobs, the three-month break is the ideal time for schools to get some construction work done.

Rosemount schools are taking advantage this year. With a little more than a month left before school resumes, Rosemount High School and Rosemount Middle School each have several projects in various stages of completion.

The biggest, or at least the most obvious, projects at each school involve a lot of digging. At RHS, a project to waterproof part of the school's foundation has led to the creation of large piles of dirt in front of the school. At RMS, the replacement of 50-year-old pipes connected to the school's heating system appears to have created the beginnings of a moat.

RHS principal John Wollersheim said the school had seen leaks, mostly when there has been heavy rain.

The leaks have not affected classroom spaces, but there has been water in the halls around the school's gymnasium, causing concern the gym floor could be affected.

RHS is also getting part of its roof replaced. The replacement, again in the front part of the building, is part of a schedule of replacements that includes all district buildings.

RMS is also getting some work done on its roof, but the bigger project at the school involves replacing pipelines that carry hot water from the school's boiler to the heating lines. Those pipes were installed in 1952.

"It was just to update it and regulate it better," said RMS principal Mary Thompson.

There haven't been problems with the heat at RMS, but Thompson said the project should make the system more efficient.

There are also smaller projects at RHS to replace ceiling tiles and carpet in parts of the building, replace breaker panels and valves and replace cases in the school's food labs.

The projects can be disruptive at times for the school staff that remains during the summer. At RMS, Thompson and others in the front office had to deal with pounding noises and the smell of hot tar.

"We're tough over here at Rosemount," she said.

It can be distracting, but it's much less of an issue now than it will be once students return in large numbers in September.

"The parking lot right now is taken up quite a bit by construction trucks," Wollersheim said. "In the summer, that's OK."

Summer school

Construction workers aren't the only ones getting things done this summer at Rosemount schools. RMS and RHS both recently wrapped up summer school programs, and Wollersheim said the high school's summer classes drew their best attendance yet.

Many of the students in class this summer at RHS are there to catch up on school work, but there were also several programs to help kids get a leg up. One session gave soon-to-be sophomores who wanted to move up to advanced math classes an opportunity to take geometry, and another offered opportunities to ninth grade honors students. The school's summer academy also returned to give incoming freshmen an early opportunity to find out what high school life is all about. That session included a presentation from a former summer academy student on how to be organized.

Wollersheim said he's happy to see the variety of options available to students during the summer.

Summer classes are over now, and construction work will be done soon. The schools will be quieter then.

Just in time for students to return.