Last week I shared that there are several construction projects underway in or near the district. We have construction on the west side of the Cold Spring campus with the County Road 50 project. At Cold Spring Elementary School, we are replacing the heating and ventilation system. At the District Education Facility, we have some smaller—but important—remodeling projects going on.
I would like to continue the topic of construction in this week’s space by looking at the work going on in the district.
COUNTY ROAD 50 REVIEW
As I shared last week, the work being done on County Road 50 is not necessarily a school district project, but it certainly affects us! Our parking lots have access on both sides—County Road 2 and County Road 50.
The official detour path for the construction project follows county roads considerably north of the city of Cold Spring. ROCORI District property is not a street, but if traffic moves through the site carefully, we are willing to keep it open! Our paved areas are actually parking lots or access to parking lots.
We need people to understand is that the parking lot area and the connecting access areas are NOT regular streets or roads. We need drivers to exercise caution and good judgment as they travel through the property.
We need drivers to be observant, attentive and cautious. We understand that it is much more convenient for residents of and visitors to the city of Cold Spring to be able to cross our property during this construction project. We are willing to help out by allowing the campus to be open if residents are cautious, drive with care, and observe good traffic procedures.
COLD SPRING ELEMENTARY
Over the past two years, I have spent considerable space explaining the details of the project at Cold Spring Elementary School. I will not go into all of that detail, but will cover a few key points!
The project at CSE is a replacement of our heating and ventilation system. The old system relied on a series of heat pumps. The new system will be boiler based. The core element to the change is that the 76 heat pumps in the system are reaching or past the point that they need to be replaced. The cost of replacement is expensive, with no guarantee that they will operate for more than 10 years.
The boiler system, much like that of our other buildings, can offer us a more stable, more direct heating process than the heat pumps. It should provide us a much longer lifespan than the heat pumps. Many of our other boilers have lasted more than 50 years.
The boiler system project will take most or all of the summer to complete. As such, the Cold Spring Elementary site is closed for the entire summer season. Because it is a construction zone, staff members are not permitted to be in the site.
All CSE summer programs have been moved to other sites across the district. The Targeted Services programs are being run at the Middle School wing of the secondary building. The KidStop program is being conducted at the District Education Facility. We have relocated programs throughout the summer.
In addition to the heating and ventilation project, the gym floor at CSE has to be restored. Last summer, there was a leak that caused some water damage to the gym floor. We have contracted to have the sport redone, but we also will refinish the entire floor. That work is underway right now but should give us a great looking gym floor when we are done.
DISTRICT EDUCATION FACILITY
There are some smaller projects underway at the DEF site. Beginning last winter, we started some projects to update some spaces at the site and move us closer to a focus on Early Childhood and Community Education programming.
The older restrooms at the building have been updated, or are being updated, at the DEF. We have put the kind of tile into the restrooms that has been used at the RHS site. We have also updated some of the equipment and fixtures within the rooms. The lower level older bathrooms are also being updated in the same manner.
We are also starting the process of moving the Senior Center into another part of the building. It will move down the hall toward the Commons. The purpose of the move is to provide more convenient access for those attending the Center without the need for the current ramp. The access near the Commons is on a flat surface without need for a ramp. The Center will also be right inside the door, so the walk is a little less demanding.
The classroom that will become the Senior Center has been the Industrial Technology area when the building was a middle school. Over the last three years, the space has been used as a music classroom to serve St. Boniface students.
The Senior space will, much like the existing space, include a kitchen area, cabinets, and storage area. There will be other spaces in the primary area for various “stations” or activity areas. The space is currently being designed by district staff and a committee from the Senior Board.
The movement of the Senior Center will allow us, in the long-term, to concentrate educational spaces for Early Childhood and Community Education. Rather than spreading across the entire building, the EC and CE classrooms will be closer together and more convenient for interaction.
The remodeling projects will use the last funds of the overall construction project. Although it has spread over a long period of time, the construction project has allowed us to do much more than the relocation of the middle school. We have been able to complete our core academic areas, enhance our technology infrastructure, replace our most needy roofs, restore the track at the athletic complex, update the ventilation and heating system at John Clark Elementary and do part of the CSE project, remodel the District Education Facility, and conduct these final projects. We have made considerable physical progress through the resources provided for construction.
It is a busy summer in the ROCORI District with the projects that are underway. The road project is definitely affecting our campus this summer with increased traffic across the parking lots. The CSE site is closed to allow an upgrade to the heating and ventilation project and a restoration of the gym floor. The DEF site is also seeing work related to the Senior Center and restrooms.
Buildings and Grounds Director Ken Kraemer has a full summer of duties and tasks! He does an outstanding job coordinating these issues and will oversee all the work this summer!