Renovations have begun at and Superintendent Michael Comanda says the project is moving along.
In December 2010, the Greenport community overwhelmingly passed a $7.4 capital improvement bond and $1.2 million wind and solar project. Work was scheduled to begin this summer and is underway.
The first project was to remove the 30-year old boilers. Comanda said at this point the old boilers have been removed and the new boilers are on premises. Boiler number one’s has a target installation date of Sept. 15.
Comanda said work on the roof is progressing. He anticipates the replacement of the 1932 roof will be completed by Sept. 1. The 1972 section of the roof will be redone after school starts.
The window replacement portion of the renovations is behind because Comanda said “there is more damage than expected” with the steel lintels. Comanda said a contingency plan was built into the original bond to cover such damage. Once the lintels are finished they can bring in the new windows. He said he is “optimistic” the work will begin by the end of August and will continue after-school and on weekends until it is complete.
Comanda said all the seating has been stripped from the auditorium and renovations are underway. The auditorium will have an epoxy floor, all of the cast iron will be sand-blasted and repainted, the plaster ceiling will be fixed and repainted, additional handicapped accessible seating will be added, existing woodwork will be refurbished and anything beyond repair will be replaced.
“All woodwork will be back to its original luster,” he said.
One of the most discussed aspects of the auditorium restoration was the seating. Comanda said the board considered adding cushioned seats but he said the community told him they wanted to preserve the character of the room and keep the seats in the “original form.”
He said he hopes to have the auditorium “substantially completed” by Nov. 10.
The solar and wind project will go out to bid in mid-September and he anticipates work on the fire alarms and phones will begin early next year.
“I wanted to get the nuts and bolts of the construction out of the way first,” Comanda said.
Board member Lisa Murray is relieved to see the construction begin, but said continued support will be needed as the construction progresses.
“We are very excited to see the visible signs of construction beginning on the building after many months of plan review and the bidding process. We thank all of the students and the community, in advance, for their support as the construction continues through the fall,” Murray said.
Comanda said he will remind his staff to give the constructions the space they need to get the job done.
“We will need to be incredibly flexible. We’ve all waited quite a while for this work to get done and we’re going to have to work with them,” he said.