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JUNCTION CITY — The Junction City School Board approved a bid for the demolition of “the old gym” on the high school campus.

According to previous News-Times reports, the old gym will be replaced by a building that’ll house high school PE, health, art and music classes. The high school elective site, now coined the PEHAM building is scheduled to be open during the 2018-2019 school year.

ERC architect Michael Rogers said that two companies, ERC General Contractors and Lloyd Nabors Demolition, submitted bids last month. ERC was awarded the project after its bid of $46,469, which is almost $4,000 under budget.

Rogers said, “We’ve done a one-call for the property already. We’ve submitted the paperwork to the ADEQ (Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality) for a 10-day review period along with the asbestos reports, things of that nature and we’re ready to begin demolition … Come Wednesday morning you won’t have a building. It’ll be on the ground.”

In a Facebook video that features Wayne Pumphrey, self-proclaimed historian, a significant portion of the gym’s roof has been removed.

Before the ERC crew takes the old gym down, Glenn Mechanical will shut off the building’s sewer, water and gas lines. Contractors are at work to remove the gym’s vintage Dragon logo from the building, the architect said.

“We’ve cut around the logo already. We’ve braced it off as best we can and in the morning we’ll have a piece of equipment trying to save that with as little disassembly as possible,” Rogers said. “Right now we have one cut down the center, down one of the seams of the floor and we’re trying to take it out in two pieces. We’re hoping that that’s going to be the case. We have a skid-steer with forks that we’re just going to slide the forks right under and hope everything just comes right out.”

The logo will be stored, refurbished and maintained at an ERC facility until the project is completed. Removing the logo was quoted as part of the construction management portion of the project, Rogers said.

Board vice president David Barnette said that “local volunteers” expressed interest in helping the project as well as collecting things left behind. He commended the architect for “working with community.”

“Any of the wood products we’ll have to take off of site. Pretty much we’re not allowed to burn, bury or anything like those type of products, but the masonry and concrete products we are. Pretty much I’ve spoke with the ADEQ and they had several circumstances that would be allowed and fell within one of those,” Rogers said. “I’ve already spoken to a few people and they’ve called dibs on some things, so I’ve got my laundry list of things that have to be done during the demolition.”

Equipment needed for the demolition will be moved Wednesday and Thursday and by noon Jan. 3, the building will be demolished. A barricade will be placed between the old gym, the high school campus and parking lot in case things aren’t cleared out when students return from winter break, the architect said.

The board also approved a resolution of local support for the 2018 Six Year Master Plan and Partnership Application for the 2019-2021 Biennium and to remove a list of retired equipment from its fixed assets. It denied four student transfer requests to the Parkers Chapel School District.

The Junction City School Board’s next meeting is scheduled at 6:30 p.m. Jan. 9 in the special programs building meeting room.

Brittany Williams may be reached at 870-862-6611 or Follow her on Twitter and like her on Facebook @BWilliamsEDNT for updates on Union County school news.

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