Construction during quarantine

How has the pandemic affected renovation?

Portia Dai, Staff Writer

Oakton is finally starting to look like the artist renderings that have been front and center walking down the main hall to the cafeteria; the ceiling-less and drywall halls that students left in mid-March will no longer be when students return next September. The progress of Phase 1 of the four-year renovation project is well underway, with the science labs promised to students after spring break completed and finishing touches being added to the dance studio. With the current pandemic sending students home and forcing workers apart, how has construction continued at Oakton?

The good news is that construction is advancing as it has been deemed “essential” (Principal Lane). A substantial amount of work has been completed since students and staff left in March with Phase 1 of the renovation being completed and construction beginning to move into Phase 2. As there are no people in the building, workers have been able to complete Phase 1 work that was originally scheduled for the summer, such as the main office area and the science wing. Construction for the performing arts wing is now beginning near the previous Door 7 and the auditorium will also be started to work on. 

While workers have been able to complete work that they wouldn’t have been able to during the school year with students and staff in the building, they have faced “delays in needed materials” (Principal Lane), such as the materials needed for the auxiliary gym bleachers. These delays are due to suppliers being affected by COVID-19 regulations, but overall, it seems that renovation will be a little faster due to the empty school.

By the time students and staff return next September, they should be able to expect a completed and new science wing as well as dance studio. Work is still being done in the upstairs classrooms, and the main hall, but it is safe to say that quarantine has sped up the progress of Phase 1 of the renovation. We hope that all the workers are staying safe in this time!