Letter to update high school families about next phase of capital project

Our new high school gymnasium, built as part of Phase II of the capital project, was handed over to our high school staff and students just over a week ago. The bright, airy lobby space has produced a wide-eyed wonderment in almost every visitor and will provide a great showplace for future athletic and cultural events. The next area of work to begin in the high school will be the creation of a new music suite, yielded through the renovation of the old gymnasium space.

Initial construction plans called for the entire gym floor to be removed and replaced. However, sampling of the floor revealed asbestos in the subfloor (underneath the floor). Removal would have included abatement, special contractors with special precautions, and a significant increase in both construction times and expense to the district. The district consulted with project architects and builders to create a safe and reliable alternative to removing the entire floor. This new plan will keep most of the existing gym floor and build the new music suite above that floor. Therefore, instead of abating nearly 10,000 square feet of floor, the contractors will need to abate just over 300 square feet.  

Abatement will likely begin in mid-June and last for approximately one week, both during and after regular school hours. Ten days prior to beginning abatement, contractors are required to post asbestos abatement signage surrounding the area. These signs should not cause alarm. As a means of maintaining a safe school environment for students and community members:

  • All existing gym doors are locked and sealed in plastic.  There will therefore be no line of sight or physical access into the existing gym. Contractors will access the gym through one entrance which will be located near the rear, pool parking lot.
  • The area of the floor that is being abated will be “tented.”  Meaning that an enormous plastic tent will be erected over the work area within the gym.
  • Precise air management will be utilized where air is only vented from the gym in one location, through a complex HEPA filtration device, to the exterior of the building.  
  • Air quality will be tested daily to ensure that any air that leaves the gym space is free from asbestos.  
  • All materials that will be removed from the gym space will be bagged and sealed prior to being removed from the gym and placed in the dedicated refuse container.

We are eager for the next phase of construction to begin and are only willing to proceed knowing that the correct precautions will be utilized throughout this process. If you have any questions, please contact High School Principal, Dr. Lisa Patierne or our Director of Facilities, Ralph Domanico.

Sincerely,

Brian Bailey, EdD