CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa - Students in the Cedar Rapids School District return to the classroom in less than three weeks. Many will be returning to upgraded buildings that were overhaul this summer.
One of the biggest projects is at Jefferson High School, it still looks like a construction zone when you drive by with heavy machinery and large mounds of dirt out front. Inside, they've made a lot of progress this summer.
They've put in all new windows, are upgrading the heating and cooling system, and remodeling classrooms with new flooring and lights. The biggest change students will notice will come at lunchtime.
The $1.5 million renovation of the school's 56 year old cafeteria is nearly complete and it looks much different than it did last school year.
They've redone the dining area, changed the layout of the serving area to provide more space and get students through faster, and installed new technology.
While they've gotten a lot done, there is still a lot of work to do before the first day of school.
"We are working on finishes. Finishes are usually painting and tile. Those usually go pretty quick. Appears to be a lot but it will go quick," said Rob Kleinsmith, Building and Grounds Manager for Cedar Rapids Community Schools.
Work will continue on remodeling some of the classrooms once the students return. Some teachers will have to rotate rooms while crews continue to upgrade the heating and cooling system and put in new floors and lighting. There were simply too many rooms to get it all done in one summer.
Work should be complete at Jefferson by the end of this year.
Wrapping up a $25 million renovation project.