Ribbon Cutting and Open House on Thursday October 12 at 5:30!

Please come join us to celebrate the completion of the Berlin Elementary School Renovations. This is a community event that is open to the public. We will have a ribbon cutting ceremony,  tours of the building with Architects and Contractors, and cake!

Thank you again for supporting this amazing project and investing in our school, our children and our Berlin community. Hope to see you there!

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Details!

It has been a little more than a month since school opened (and since our last post). Everyone has had time to settle in and the contractors have made their way through almost all of the punch lists for each space in the building. It has been such a whirlwind project that it’s nice to finally sit back a little and appreciate some of the little things that will make a BIG difference at school. Enjoy!

Sink and counter units were updated for wheelchair accessibility. While we were at it, we updated the plumbing, counter tops, drinking fountains, and added valuable closed under cabinet storage for each classroom.

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Another great new safety feature is the magnetic door holds. It’s actually a violation of the fire code to use wedges to prop open doors. In case of a fire or other emergency, the doors can all be closed at once with the push of a button at the main office or when triggered by an alarm.

Unit Ventilators are the new fresh air units installed in every classroom and they bring in the good air from outside and balance the air flow to make sure the circulation of air is happening properly. If you ever heard the old ones in operation or experienced warmer and colder parts of the school building, you know they were in dire need of replacement.

IMG_20170912_190420   Cubbies! As part of the project, some cubbies were re-used and some new ones were ordered. These help reduce clutter in the hallways and keep kid stuff separated and organized!

Storage! This little walk-in with built in shelving detail was added later, but makes for great organization and safe storage of instruments and equipment in the Music Room.

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Fountains – this little fountain with water bottle filler in the classroom hallway is ADA compliant, just like the one near the gym. The hallway bathrooms were updated for the ADA as well, along with new floors, ceilings and fixtures after removing all of the asbestos. IMG_20170912_192155

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Stay tuned for a few more updates before our grand opening ceremony on Thursday, October 12th!

We Did It! School Opens on Time!

Kids and teachers were back to school on Monday, with no delay in opening. There are still a few pieces of the project to complete and final details will be touched up by the contractors over the next month or so.

Although not obvious to the untrained eye, this was a minor miracle. Just look back through some of the pictures and descriptions on this blog to better understand the massive amount of work that happened in the span of a few months.

Things are still a bit messy due to the late access by teachers and custodial staff, but we will be ready for an official open house and opening in a few weeks.

Meanwhile, enjoy a few pictures of the entry and hallways and try to remember what it looked like before!IMG_20170828_174622IMG_20170828_174657IMG_20170828_174707IMG_20170828_174727IMG_20170828_174719IMG_20170828_174757IMG_20170828_174805IMG_20170828_174817

Week 10 – Almost There!

It has been a big week as things get finished up for the opening day of school. We had an incredibly aggressive schedule to get this much done, and we are right on time! General Contractor Neagley and Chase and Architectural firm Black River Design deserve a lot of credit for running a tight ship, along with extraordinary Clerk-of-the-Works Bill Ford. The school will be ready for kids on Monday, with some non-critical items to be completed at night and on weekends over the next few weeks.

The teachers are moving in this week and haven’t had their usual time to prep their classrooms. Expect some chaos during the first few weeks of school as everyone settles in to this beautifully renovated school!

Now on to the pics, please don’t mind the mess! These photos were taken as things were being moved in. Furniture and boxes everywhere!

The lobby is looking good.

New hallway bathrooms – a big improvement, and ADA accessible.

The library, with some new bookshelves and rolling storage made by Vermont Corrections. Note the half walls that now provide more separation from the halls and classes and funnel traffic better.

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Our great new gym and nested lunch tables.

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Office service window under construction and the new walk-off rough carpeting at the entry/exit areas to catch mud and snow, plus a conference room where the office used to be!

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Reduce, Reuse, Recycle!

About a dozen awesome volunteers helped disassemble the old lighting from the school on Saturday morning. This dusty crew took apart an entire roll-off trailer full of old lights, separating bulbs, wiring, ballast, metal and plastic. It saved a bunch of money in labor and disposal for the project. The school and community thank you!

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Things Are Coming Together fast

This week is when it all comes together. Lights are all up, the carpeting is being finished and the crews are working from the extremities of the building inward and toward the lobby, where some of the final work is happening on the office and the entryway. Some classes are getting their final coats of wax and some furniture has been moved back in from the outside storage containers. Bathroom fixtures are going in and new systems are being tested.

Cleaners will be in the building all week to really make the place shine.

Here’s a peek at the new carpet and library shelves!

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Hallways….

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The front entry is coming together last.

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The gym looks really nice, and the new windows are in!

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Stay tuned for some pics of finished products as it all comes together.

Gym Floor!

Vinyl Composite Tiles (VCT) with asbestos backing were the flooring of choice when the school was originally constructed. That included the Gymnasium / Cafeteria. With all that wear and tear, this was one of the major trouble spots where tiles were starting to come loose and pop up. That’s a bad thing.

In looking at a replacement for the gym floor, the renovation committee went with a mid-priced option called “pulastic.”  It costs a bit more than VCT but quite a bit less than hardwood. It has been used with success in other schools. This material is durable and provides the protection and safety you need for sports use, which we need because of the multi-purpose use of the space. It is also relatively easy to maintain.

Plus, it looks fantastic! Check it out!

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