The massive reconstruction project in several Fulton City School District buildings is moving along fairly smoothly, according to the district official in charge of the project.
Jerry Seguin told the Board of Education this week that “overall, we’re moving along on our most recent schedule. The main pieces of the project are on schedule.”
However, the delays on the athletic complex mean that at least one spring sport — track and field — will not have a home this year. Superintendent of Schools Bill Lynch said the athletic department was attempting to schedule away meets for the team for the season and figure out where the team will practice.
The athletic field work has been beset with problems. Asbestos was found in a couple of the track jumping pits and in underground drainage piping that had to be replaced. Officials had hoped to have the new turf field and track open halfway through the fall football season. When that didn’t happen, all Fulton football home games were moved to Central Square.
The rebuilding of the high school tennis courts also hit problems. Besides asbestos removal, crews had to dig a deeper foundation for the new courts than they anticipated in order to get to the proper kind of soil for the foundation.
Three buildings — the high school, Lanigan Elementary, and the Education Center — along with the athletic complex are undergoing major renovations at present. Work is scheduled for next year at the remaining district buildings under the $23.5 million project.
According to Seguin:
At the high school, steel should be arriving today for the skeleton of the classroom addition. It will go up as it arrives. A gym storage area is complete and doors are going on it. A renovated team room is on schedule. He said the girls locker room rebuild is making progress — tile has been installed and racks are mounted to walls waiting to hold lockers when they arrive. Rooftop heating units will be installed shortly to provide heat to these new areas. Gym lights will be completed this week.
At the Athletic Complex, “weather is closing in on us”, Seguin said. That means work on the new field and track will have to halt for the winter at some point soon. The new tennis courts are complete and light poles are being installed around them.
At Lanigan Elementary, where the former “Open Wing” of the school is closed and being rebuilt, most sheet rock has been installed and finishing will begin in the next couple of weeks. The goal is to move classes back into that wing over the February school break.
In the Education Center, new seats have been installed in the auditorium. The floor will be finished next. An elevator for disabled students is installed, but workers are waiting for National Grid to hook up power to the lift. Seguin said that National Grid’s workers in Volney now get their orders from Massachusetts and that’s slowing up work significantly. Power may be installed around the time of Christmas break, Seguin said.
Minor work has occured at the junior high and at Granby Elementary. At the junior high, gym lights are installed and a water heater has been installed. A new schoolwide clock system, with clocks synchronized minute-by-minute with the national Atomic Clock, is up and running. A board member asked if the new, accurate clocks had cut down on tardiness. Principal Donna Parkhurst shook her head and gave the thumbs-down sign as board members laughed. New clocks, gym lights and a water heater are also going in at Granby.