Hannibal Schools Preparing To Shut Down Parts Of Buildings For Renovations

<p> </p>

There’s disruption coming to Hannibal schools because of the ongoing building project.

Superintendent of Schools Mike DiFabio told the Board of Education Monday night that planning is underway for dealing with the need to shut down wings of each school building when it’s time to replace windows and some ceiling tiles.

The district hopes to begin work in April, 2010.

The disruption will be most severe in the High School, he said, because “every high school classroom will be touched. Wings will have to be shut down.”

DiFabio said the high school work would probably begin in the wing of the building that houses administrative offices and would then rotate around the rest of the building.

Kenney Middle School will have a different problem. Work there will force the building’s kitchen to be shut down from April to sometime in October. DiFabio said the district had a similar issue when Fairley Elementary was being rebuilt. Meals were shipped in from the othe schools and students ate in the gym because the cafeteria was also shut down.

At Fairley, only the kindergarten wing of the building needs to be closed for renovations in April and the work should be done by the start of school in September.

All of that is hanging on the state’s approval of the district’s proposed work. DiFabio said the district missed its target of getting plans to the state by October 2. The plans went to the state about two weeks later than that. He remains hopeful that the state will complete its review in time for the district to send out bid documents in February and award bids in March so work can begin in April.

He warned that the entire project will take two full school years to complete.

DiFabio hailed what he called “great news”. He said that a careful study of the power needs of the three buildings shows that the district will be able to use natural gas generators to provide backup power, rather than generators that run on diesel fuel.

Diesel generators would have supplied more power, but the study showed the buildings didn’t need that much power.

DiFabio said natural gas-powered generators are preferable because the district would have had to build tanks to hold thousands of gallons of diesel fuel and would have had to rotate the fuel because it deteriorates.

There are no backup power generators on district buildings now. DiFabio said the high school’s generator would be located in the alleyway behind the auditorium, the Kenney school generator would be stored in an alcove and Fairley’s by the smaller playground — all of them near natural gas lines.