Don’t be fooled while driving down Harrison Avenue: Riverhead School District officials say they’re pleased with the progress made this summer over at the high school and expect construction to be completed on time in the fall of 2015.
Construction work will not be completed this year on the front of the school, which will eventually house new science labs and guidance offices. But facilities that will be ready this fall will include a new weight room, performing arts spaces, classroom window walls, roof, hallway ceilings, boiler and hot water heaters.
Sam Schneider, assistant superintendent for finance and operations, said in a statement that the school building has been “extensively renovated” during the summer break and will reopen for employees on Sept. 2 and students the following day.
“The expansion to the front of the high school made great strides this summer and work will continue on that addition throughout the school year,” he said. “The project overall is on time and progressing nicely.”
In addition, Mr. Schneider said, the cafeteria, bathrooms and ROTC spaces have been refurbished and the parking lot has been improved.
BBS Architects of Patchogue, the firm hired to design the work, had originally projected that construction at the high school would be finished this September. But in April, the firm reported that completion would be delayed by a year because the state was backlogged with signing off on similar projects across New York.
The upgrades are part of a larger $78 million school district improvement bond approved by voters in 2011, though projects beyond those already bonded are also in the works.
Separately, the school board has scheduled a public hearing at its next regular board meeting, set for 7 p.m. Tuesday at Aquebogue Elementary School, to discuss using $41,200 from the district’s repair reserve fund for a couple of high school projects, including repairing paint for the gym’s partitions and repairing the fuel storage tank vent. The monies are also earmarked to repair fencing and screening at Roanoke Avenue and Phillips Avenue elementary schools, according to the public notice.
Last August, the school board approved using $1.7 million for various upgrades at the high school, including replacement of lighting and crumbling concrete in the back plaza courtyard, repair of the south and student parking lots and replacement of a damaged ceiling and lighting in the cafeteria. In March, the board also approved using $456,000 from the repair reserve account to pay for other projects at the high school, including paint, interior and exterior door-exit devices, HVAC rooftop temperature controllers and a hot-water mixing valve. Other monies were allocated for the middle school’s boiler room valves and boiler section, Roanoke Avenue Elementary School’s gym floor and flooring for five classrooms at Aquebogue Elementary School.
Although construction will continue in 2014-15, several high school construction projects associated with the bond were completed earlier this year, including the library, auditorium, large group instruction room and science research lab.
Capital improvements at Aquebogue, Phillips Avenue and Riley Avenue elementary schools were completed last year.
Construction at the middle school, Pulaski Street School and Roanoke Avenue Elementary School is scheduled for completion in September 2015.