The almost 40-year-old room was completely gutted several weeks ago and remodeled using $79,612 provided by the city of Sparks. Since 2001, the city of Sparks has funded more than $750,000 in school improvement projects through community develop block grant funding.
“The city was more than happy to come in and assist,” said Tracy Wheeler, grants administrator for the city of Sparks. “It is going to be a fabulous project when it is done.”
From floor to ceiling lights, the room will have the same basic design with all new menities. Best in the West Construction is the contractor on the job.
The classroom now contains six stations complete with a stove, new cabinetry, a microwave, sink and counter space. One of the stations was designed to be compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act, featuring a wheelchair accessible sink and a stove with controls on the front rather than the back.
“It was really a dilapidated environment before,” Gary Clark, project manager for Washoe County School District said. “It was not conducive to kids learning home economics.”
While remodeling the room, contractors found that the glue beneath the old tile flooring was riddled with asbestos, adding about $1,000 to the bill in asbestos abatement.
“The entire building was closed off (while the asbestos was being removed),” Clark said
According to Clark, the glue beneath the tile was scraped off by construction workers in full contaminant-resistant suits and face masks. Then, the floor was treated with a citrus rub to kill all the remaining particles.
The surplus work was paid for by the school district.
“When we are done with this, the kids will be getting what they would at a new middle school,” Clark said.
As he imagines the kids’ first impressions of the room, Clark said he hopes that the students will get a sense that their education is important and that they are being taken care of.
“I’d like to see the look on their faces, knowing that we care,” Clark said.