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RCS Renovations on schedule for student arrival in September

No one driving past any of the four schools in the Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk School District can miss evidence of the construction under way – whether it is the temporary chain-link fence ringing A.W. Becker, the orange caution tape surrounding areas of Pieter B. Coeymans or the large construction vehicles lumbering across the middle and high school campus.

The capital project renovations began last spring, continued into the summer and are on track to allow for the uninterrupted return of staff and students at the beginning of September.

“I want to assure everyone that the current construction schedule for the upgrades at the district this summer will not affect school starting on time,” Doyle Guyatte, field engineer for the Turner Construction Company said on Wednesday.

The most extensive work is taking place in the elementary schools and includes the redesign of the current libraries into media centers, replacement of skylights and original windows from 1963 and new gymnasium lighting. The project also includes behind-the-scenes renovations that will have a big impact on the schools’ operation but will likely go unnoticed by students. These include new boilers and controls and new kitchen exhaust hoods with fire suppression.

Also among the changes are a new bus loop at AWB and a repaved basketball court outside of PBC. Work has also begun to upgrade the elementary school athletic fields by the spring of 2017. With the ongoing renovations, the schools are holding their summer programs and housing summer staff in the high school.

On the middle and high school campus the most prominent upgrade is the new synthetic field, located inside the running track. The middle school is receiving new flooring, while the high school renovations include kitchen upgrades and a new loading dock off the cafeteria kitchen.

The transportation building, located behind the high school, also received a new boiler and roof, overhead doors throughout the structure as well as a new propane fueling station, upgrades to the diesel fueling station and replacement fueling systems – bringing the facility into compliance with New York State Department of Environmental Conservation standards. The construction of an additional bus access road to County Route 101 has also begun and should conclude in the fall.

A few projects will continue through part of the 2016-17 school year, including upgrades to the high school auditorium that are scheduled to be completed in December 2016 and new electrical wiring throughout AWB and PBC, that will be installed through May 2017. Student learning will not be affected by the wiring installation because the work will be completed during second shift, after school is in session.

“We are thrilled to see how well the renovations are going,” Superintendent Robert Libby said. “We look forward to unveiling some of the upgrades to staff, students and their families in September and are excited about the developments still yet to come with the capital project”

The overhauls are part of the $30.09 million capital project that was approved by voters in January 2015.