ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) For more than a year, construction crews have been remodeling Turnagain and Gladys Wood elementary schools.
With less than three weeks until the start of the next school year, the halls at Gladys Wood are filled with contractors.
"It’s built to be a 50-year-old building again and in other words, we shouldn’t have to do anything to this building again for several years," project manager, Calvin Mundt said.
Multi-phase projects are designed to take the school from the 1970's and into the 21st century. District employees say the building was solid, but the open floor plan wasn't the best for learning.
"None of the classrooms had any walls, so the noise level was pretty hard to deal with and we’ve redone all that," Mundt said.
Additional classrooms, new furniture and magnetic boards are only a fraction of the improvements that returning students will notice.
Mundt said kindergarten classes were expanded 400 square feet.
In West Anchorage, Turnagain Elementary School is also under a massive renovation.
Unlike the open concept at Gladys Wood, project manager Charlie Peters said Turnagain elementary just needed a face lift.
Peters said many of the improvements modernize the building, but also gave it a deep clean, "there was a lot of old tile in here that's probably been around since the 70's or 80's that needed to be replaced," he said.
New lockers, stools specifically for those known to squirm, and motion activated LED lighting throughout are some of the building's new features.
The main office has also been relocated.
Both projects are expected to wrap up on time in the next few weeks.