Schoolhouse Extension Progresses Without Delay

Construction site-Allie Banks

Preparing the foundations for the extension. (A. Banks ’16)

After months of anticipation, the empty space between the music wing and the math wing has finally been closed off with fences. Trucks, trailers and heavy artillery rolled in, occupying the site to begin, at last, the construction of the Schoolhouse extension project, which is scheduled to be completed and ready for occupancy in the fall of 2015.

Currently, according to Craig Gemmell, with the business office relocated to the library, the construction is on-schedule and there are no particular anticipated delays.

“This is a challenging job,” said Mr. Gemmell, “since we are joining new construction to an old brick building—not work for the faint of heart.” However, with a remarkable construction team from Lee Kennedy that had completed multiple similarly complex projects, the project management team is confident that the building will be ready for students by fall of 2015.

Yet, we can expect surprises and challenges all along the way such as weather, equipment failure, or building challenges, said Mr. Gemmell, who assured that the construction team has a good history in responding favorably when faced with such challenges.

Apart from the fenced construction site, many windows around the schoolhouse, especially those directly facing the site, have been blocked with white boards, which will stay for the entire duration of construction. This measure was designed to ensure the safety of classrooms, as objects may fly during drilling or fall from scaffoldings.

On certain days, students reported noises and even “earthquakes” especially in the classrooms of the math wing. These, said Mr. Gemmell, are unfortunately due to the reinforcement work done on the foundation of the Schoolhouse, which is necessary to ensure the longevity of the new addition.

In general, the School and the construction team are working together to ensure that students and faculty experience minimal disturbance, while maintaining progress on this important project in the life of the school. Most of the time, he assured us, the construction will be relatively quiet.

“My sense is that the community has done a wonderful job rolling with disturbances and the sometimes distracting noise,” said Mr. Gemmell. “The new facility will be wonderful and the sacrifices made will surely prove to be worthwhile.”

Currently, electrical and mechanical tie-ins are being made and the substrate is being prepared for the pouring of the foundation.

Soon, students will see steel, and before you know it, the building will rise from the ground.

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