School renovations on tap for 2013
March 19, 2012
Planning for the next phase of the Watervliet City School District’s renovation project is well underway.
Once architects and estimators are finished narrowing the scope of the work, plans will be sent to the state Department of Education for approval. Architects told school board members and the community during the Board of Education meeting last week they expect to begin seeking bids for the project in January 2013.
In December, voters approved a bond referendum that will allow $18.9 million worth of renovations to move forward at the elementary and junior-senior high schools. The project – Phase IV of the district’s capital improvement plan – will have no impact on local property taxes. The state funding that will pay for the renovations can only be used for school construction; it cannot be applied to the school budget for academic programs or staffing.
Renovations proposed at Watervliet Elementary School include replacing most of the building’s interior and exterior doors, and installing new windows in the 1955 wing. The parking lot is also being eyed for a reconfiguration that will add between 15 and 20 spaces. Other planned work includes replacing vinyl flooring, installing sound-absorbing panels in the cafeteria, new roofs for the building’s gymnasium and kindergarten wing, better drainage for the play area and a digital sign.
Slated improvements at the junior-senior high school include window replacements and new floors, new ceilings and lighting for areas that were not renovated during prior renovations. While no additional air conditioning is currently called for in the project, southeast-facing rooms may get ceiling fans and new window treatments. Plans also call for facelifts in the nurse’s office and guidance areas. Auditorium upgrades include backstage rigging, new lighting, and refurbishing seats.
Several athletic facilities changes are planned for the junior-senior high school, including a synthetic-turf playing field that is expected to be ready for the 2014 football season. Architects estimate it will take about five months to construct. A new baseball field is also in the planning stages. Once constructed, the new diamond will need a growing season before the turf is ready for play. A new six-lane track with an eight-lane straight away track is also planned. Download site drawing
All projected work at this point depends on final cost estimates. Factors such as weather could also affect estimated completion times.