There are signs of spring all around: robins chirping, patches of grass peeking through melting snow, and construction fencing and vehicles at Enders Road Elementary School and F-M High School.
The district has begun construction on the first phase of the voter-approved $45.2 million capital project that includes an approximate 4,000-square-foot addition to Enders Road and a renovation and expansion of F-M High School’s library media center.
Final design and construction plans for Wellwood Middle School is slated to be submitted to the New York State Education Department in May for review and approval. Construction there, which will include a 15,000-square-foot addition and new main entrance facing Fayetteville Elementary School, creation of a new, enlarged parking lot in front of the addition, and renovations to existing classrooms, including asbestos abatement and infrastructure upgrades; is expected to begin next spring.
Work that will be taking place within the next few months is highlighted below.
The district anticipates breaking ground in early April on the addition, which will extend off the back of the building, toward the existing playground. While some construction will take place during the regular school day, projects that will generate the most noise will be done before and after school hours and during summer recess.
Construction activities will primarily be taking place behind the school, where the addition will be built, and shouldn’t interrupt regular pick-up and drop-off locations or busing. The staging and construction area behind the building has been fenced off to protect students as they walk to and from school and leave the building for recess. Additional supervision will be in place while students are outside. The new spaces are expected to be complete by October.
F-M High School
In addition to the renovation of the library media center, 13 restrooms dating back to the 1960s will be updated and a portion of the central kitchen area will be converted into offices.
Library Media Center
About 1,286 square feet of additional space will be added to the existing 7,684-square-foot library to better accommodate the number of students who use the library and to better design the space to address individual and group activities.
During April break, custodial staff will begin prepping the high school’s auxiliary gym to serve as temporary space for the library while it is under construction. The temporary space should be functional by mid-May, when the current library space is expected to close to students and staff. Construction is expected to continue through October.
Students will continue to have access to library resources through the library’s online catalog and database. They will have the ability to check out a book online and then pick it up in the temporary space. In addition, the school’s library media specialist will be available to work with staff and students and teach lessons that typically would take place in the library in individual classrooms instead.
“I can take the library to them,” Library Media Specialist Mary Patroulis said.
Outdated restrooms will be renovated during the summer break. Bathrooms in the art wing and foyer area that are newer and not part of the renovation plan will be accessible throughout construction.
A portion of the district’s central kitchen, which is in House 1 of the high school, will be converted in an office, faculty room and conference room to make up for space absorbed by the expanded library. Central kitchen will then be reconfigured to more efficiently use its remaining space. That work is expected to begin once school is out of session and should be complete before school begins in September.
The district entered into a $3.2 million energy performance contract with Siemens to upgrade failing or inefficient infrastructure across the district, including replacing boilers at Eagle Hill Middle School, the district office building and F-M High School; installing energy efficient lighting throughout the district and adding and replacing building insulation.
The timing of the EPC projects is still being finalized so that they are congruous with the other projects taking place at the high school, Enders and Wellwood.