By JOHN HOWELL
As the academic year came to a close, not only did faculty, staff and students leave Winman Middle School but virtually everything this could move in the building. Under the …
By JOHN HOWELL
As the academic year came to a close, not only did faculty, staff and students leave Winman Middle School but virtually everything this could move in the building. Under the direction of Kevin Oliver and Camely Machado, contents were cleared as Ahlborg Construction crews moved in to start a $13,649,000 renovation program.
Steven Gothberg , School Department director of capital and construction projects and assistant director William Marcarello outlined the Winman project and additional over the summer construction projects totaling $22.3 million.
Crews will first tackle asbestos involving the replacement of elbows in the otherwise PVC plumbing and heating system. When the school was built in the early 80s, Gothberg explains, asbestos was still used in the manufacture of pipe elbows and joints to give them strength. There are sections of flooring that also contain asbestos, but overall the flooring is free of asbestos. So as to protect the flooring not needing replacement a protective cover will be used as crews remove ceilings and work to install heating and cooling using VRF variable cassettes.
The units, explains Marcarello, use fresh air from rooftop units to adjust the temperature and humidity to the preferred level. Meanwhile, another crew will work to address classroom doors to bring them into the American Disabilities Act compliance. Door latches doesn’t meet ADA standards in regards to their clearance.
Gothberg said button activated doors was an option, however, that was ruled out given the long run maintenance and replacement costs.
The department is not only faced with meeting a deadline to have work sufficiently completed for Winman classes to resume at the end of summer, but confronted with obtaining the materials needed to complete all the summer construction projects.
“The supply chain is killing us,” says Gothberg. He points out there is a 35 to 37 week lead time on the delivery of Winman windows that will be installed over school breaks. He said existing windows now 50 years old leak and many of them don’t work. In addition the department is faced with 54-week delivery of a new generator for the school meaning overall upgrades to the school will extend into two years.
Topping off Winman upgrades is a new roof.
To meet the deadline for the reopening of school, Gotherg said Ahlborg crews are working 10 hours on week days and eight hours on Saturdays.
Concurrent with work at Winman, Ahlborg crews are also working to have Sherman Elementary open on time. With the discovery of mold the school came to an abrupt close when students returned from distance learning implemented with the March 2020 state shutdown in response to Covid-19. Cleanup efforts were abandoned when it became apparent the school would need to close for several weeks and the decision was made to accelerate scheduled Sherman improvements by a year. Sherman School was relocated to the first floor of the former Gorton Junior High School that had been converted into administrative offices. School administrators consolidated their offices on the second floor.
“It’s been totally abated, gutted to the walls,” Gothberg said of the school. In addition to work to the building that includes a HVAC system and roof, Gothberg said another $500,000 in site work is being done to improve drainage which is seen as contributing to the issue of mold. Overall, improvements to Sherman are costing $7.125 million he said.
And yet there are still more school building improvements to be completed this summer. Both the Warwick Elementary Learning Center at John Brown and Cedar Hill School will get new roof and there is site work to be done at both Park and Scott Elementary Schools. Exterior ramp and outdoor sidewalk work is to be done at Greenwood as well as additional asbestos abatement.