From Staff Reports
The 519 students of Akin Elementary will see a couple changes when they walk through the front doors for their first day of school in August.
The 26 year-old elementary will see construction addressing renovations, technology and security needs.
Roof work began May 26 by Saratoga Roofing. Additionally, the installation of hand dryers and the updating/replacing of plumbing fixtures began in May.
Security needs are being addressed through the badge system and the installation of access control.
“Keyless entry will cause some changes on how district employees enter the building,” Assistant Principal Barbara Davis said. “It will also allow the doors to be locked and unlocked at designated times, eliminating the need for someone to have to manually lock and unlock the doors.”
These changes will not affect how guests are greeted. Like in the past, guests will enter through the front doors and be directed into the front office. There, they will sign in through the automated system with their drivers license and receive a visitor’s badge they must wear throughout the building.
Technology upgrades include the addition of wireless access points, network upgrades, new network cabling, a new portable sound system for the choir room and upgrades to the network-switching closet. All of the projects are projected for completion in September.
In recent years Akin has seen attendance drop while the majority of Wylie schools tried not to burst at the seams. Due to the lack of new families moving into the area zoned for Akin, the elementary school had to downsize the classroom count. However, the school will see a steady increase in attendance as new home developments are built in its area.
“We are beginning to see an increase again,” Davis said. “We went from 6 units in all grade levels to five in some and four in others. The grade levels that dipped down to four are now beginning to show growth and move back up to five sections. We are equipped to handle up to 6 sections in grade K-4, so I don’t see future growth as a problem for us.”
In May 2016, the district plans to replace the fire alarms, install LED parking lot lighting and upgrade digital signage. These projects are scheduled for completion in September 2016.
Construction throughout the district is under the management of Gallagher Construction Services with PBK Architects in charge of architecture.
For additional information on Akin Elementary construction