By GAIL OBER, LACONIA DAILY SUN
GILFORD — Corridors are dug up, equipment and piping is strategically placed in hallways and classrooms, and new fixtures are being installed as the elementary school renovation project progresses through the summer.
Scheduled to be completed over two consecutive summers, the renovation for this summer, said Buildings and Grounds Director Tim Bartlett, is primarily plumbing and drainage.
"We have reconfigured some of the gang bathrooms built in 1938 and 1962 to accommodate handicap and privacy issues," he said. "We're making them much more user friendly."
Because it is an elementary school, Bartlett said many of the classrooms are equipped with single bathrooms, meaning there are a lot of toilets and sinks in the building.
As part of the renovations, all of the sinks and countertops are being updated, along with miscellaneous fixtures. New toilets are all low-flow.
Superintendent Kirk Beitler said this is conducive to improved student hygiene and Cleanliness for Kids educational programs at the elementary level.
Bartlett also said that the wall sinks in the custodial closets are being removed and floor sinks are being installed.
"It's hard to lift mop buckets up to the wall sinks, so this is much more employee-friendly," he said.
Voters approved a $2.4 million bond at the March annual School District Meeting to upgrade the elementary school's entire mechanical, HVAC and plumbing systems. To keep the school open and to minimize interruptions to students, constructions crews will complete the project over this summer and next.
"We will be ready for teachers (to come in and set up their classrooms) by the end of the last full week of August," said Bartlett. The first day of school for students is Aug. 31.
School District Business Administrator Scott Isabelle said that the parking lot and all of the driveways are also being reclaimed and repaved. The paving project, which has been in the planning stages for a number of years but never made the final budget until this year, is not part of the bond, but is one of the capital projects the school does annually. It is scheduled to start Monday.
He said all the construction has led to the school district closing the Imagination Station playground for the summer.
"People just can't safely get there," said Isabelle.
Next year, said Bartlett, is actually the bigger part of the project that will see all of rooftop HVAC units replaced, LED lights for the parking lots, and an upgrade of the fiber optics category to whatever is the newest available technology at the time.
A PowerPoint presentation for the project can be accessed at www.sau73.org. Isabelle said there are also additional photos of the renovation project at that site.
The floor in the main corridor of Gilford Elementary School is impassable as construction crews repair some water and sewer lines as part of the two-year $2.2 million renovation. (Gail Ober/Laconia Daily Sun)
- Category: Local News
- Hits: 938