Work Proceeds On School Buildings

Published 4:40 pm Thursday, July 23, 2015

PRINCE EDWARD — A formula of wet evenings and dry days has made for a successful school construction recipe.

Progress on roof replacements and a host of other summer construction projects at the county’s schools is in full swing. Joyce Coleburn, of Honeywell, which is overseeing the lengthy list of school improvements, presented a report at the July school board meeting.

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The work facilitated through a contract with Honeywell includes roof replacements at the middle school and a roof for the career technical center, enclosing the walkway to the fifth-grade wing, control system upgrades, water upgrades, building envelope (connections between the interior and exterior of the school), and lighting upgrades at all of the schools.

The roof replacements, however, are the largest part of the $5.1 million project.

A lot has been planned over the abbreviated summer:

• Completion of the career and technical education building roof. The only change reported on the project is the addition of three drains at a cost of approximately $5,000.

• Work is continuing on the middle school roof replacement, which is expected to span two summers — some tackled this year, and the balance next year. The newest section over the fifth grade wing would be the last to be replaced.

• Most of mechanical work at the elementary school will be completed.

• The chiller at the high school will be installed prior to the start of school.

• Some rooftop units will be installed on nights and weekends once school returns. The water heater at the high school could also be done on nights and weekends.

* The fifth-grade wing enclosure is nearing completion. Fifth-graders, whose classrooms are isolated from the rest of the middle school, will no longer have to walk outside in the weather when going to such shared facilities as the cafeteria. “Any kind of safety improvement like that is always a welcome addition to any school,” Division Superintendent Dr. David Smith told The Herald.

* All of the equipment has been ordered. Four large secured storage containers will hold materials on site for use.

* Lighting, water and building envelope will likely be done when the students return, though the work will also be done on nights and weekends.

Smith said he is “pleased with progress to date and we think the students, staff and parents will be pleased with the improvements being made in the buildings.”

County supervisors moved forward with a lease-purchase arrangement of approximately $5.1 million at 2.35 percent over 15 years to finance the energy performance contract with Honeywell in May. The work factors energy conservation measures with the roof replacements. Funding for the work is expected to be generated from energy savings (estimated at $212,166 in the first year and escalating 3 percent each year, totaling $311,573 in the 15h year) and from money made available with retired debt.