Project officials present plans to Miller-Driscoll student ‘constituents’

With work on Miller-Driscoll soon to begin, construction manager Turner Construction and members of the Miller-Driscoll Building Committee decided it was time to address their constituents.

That’s what Building Committee Chair Bruce Hampson called them. “We did these presentations because our real constituents, the ones who are going to benefit the most from all this, are these kids,” he said.

In the Miller-Driscoll auditorium on Dec. 1, Hampson, along with Turner’s senior project manager for the Miller-Driscoll renovation, Michael Douyard, as well as Miller-Driscoll Principal Cheryl Jensen-Gerner, made two presentations, to groups of nearly 400 students each.

As the children filed in, plastic hard hats were distributed such that each Miller-Driscoll student was made an “honorary contractor” for the project. “That took about half the time,” Hampson joked.

When all were seated, Hampson, Douyard and Jensen-Gerner projected renderings of what the school will look like in the future once renovated, and photographs of the heavy construction equipment Miller-Driscoll students will be seeing at their school until that future comes.

With demolition work scheduled for Christmas break, “I told them that the school is going to get a big Christmas gift that’ll take about two years to unwrap,” said Hampson, “and that they’d have a front-row seat to the unwrapping.”

At the Miller-Driscoll Building Committee’s Dec. 8 meeting, Hampson told those there that the presentations were the “highlight of [his] experience on the committee.”

“To see these little kids — that moved me deeply,” Hampson told The Bulletin, “again reminding me of the huge responsibility that we all have on this project.”

Jensen-Gerner thought the response was great. “The children were very excited,” she said. “They loved seeing the pictures; they loved their hard hats.”

“This was our first step to involve them. In our Building Committee meetings, we’ve talked about taking several other steps. We’ll likely have a couple of contests for students, maybe to name some of the construction equipment, and some other kinds of things as well.”

It would seem, judging by Jensen-Gerner’s words, that student involvement in the Miller-Driscoll School project has only just begun.

The groundbreaking is expected to take place Friday morning.