Friday, August 26, 2011

Battening Down The Hatches

Just what we needed as we rush to the finish line:  a hurricane!  We're working with our contractors to make sure that the new roof and our windows are secure & water-tight in advance of the storm.  Both the architect and the Project Manager will be here this weekend to assess the situation.  Let's keep our fingers crossed that we sustain little or no damage from wind or water.  Let's also say a prayer that Irene won't be as bad as the news has been predicting so that people stay safe and homes and businesses are spared.

As for the progress on our building project:  The good news is that we're in the final stages of readying our Science & Technology Corridor.  The cabinetry, hoods, and lab tables have been assembled and installed. Plumbing and electrical tie-ins are being completed. The mechanical systems (HVAC, etc.) are being tested and tweaked.  Ceilings and floors are done. The industrial ceiling fans have been installed in the gym. Room 6 in the Mansion, the ancient & venerable Earth Science lab, has had its lab benches and gas and water lines removed, new tiles installed and a much needed paint job to turn it into a large, general classroom.  Finally, repairs are under way to areas of the main building that sustained water damage when the roof leaked during recent storms.  (Why did this summer have to be the rainiest one in the past decade!?)

Next week we'll have a walk-through with our architect to develop our detailed "punch list" of  items that still need to be addressed by the Construction Manager.  It's so exciting to sneak a peek at the labs and see how wonderful they look even before they are completely finished. I can't wait to be able to show them to our faculty, staff and students.

Monday, August 15, 2011

We're in the back stretch!

Into every life a little rain must fall...It appears we'll continue to experience leaks until the roof is finally completed and the flashing around ductwork and vent pipes is done.  There was quite the downpour in Room 232 during yesterday's soaking rain, but a crew was on hand to make sure the furniture and equipment were covered. What we need is a few dry days so the roof work can conclude. We think the new roof with its thick insulation, together with the new windows, will produce some significant energy savings during the cold months of the year and improve the comfort level on the 2nd floor year-round.

But leaks aside, the project continues to progress.  The new ceiling in our Main Office should be completed today.  Workers are busy putting in the new floor tiles, lights & ceiling tiles upstairs.  Our lobby is crowded with boxes of stools & other furniture destined for the labs. Big, industrial ceiling fans are expected to be installed in the gymnasium tomorrow.

We were booted out of the Main Office while the plumbing and wiring for the lab above us was installed and again when installation of the new ceiling began.  This required some scrambling on our parts to find available computers in the mansion, so that business could continue.  We've been told that we can re-occupy our office space perhaps as early as tomorrow.  That will be nice.

Friday, August 5, 2011

More Than Halfway There!

I'm happy to report that, with little more than one month to go before students return for the new school year, our construction project is making excellent progress.  This past Thursday alone, we had 3 sizable flatbed trucks delivering supplies and equipment and a big crane lifting pallets of material onto our roof.  Our rough plumbing, electrical and data wiring are almost finished, the air conditioning units are being installed on the roof as we speak and duct work is going in.  Roofers have begun putting the new roof over the senior locker room and boiler room.  New windows have been installed in the science and computer labs. 

Next week work will begin in our gymnasium.  This includes window replacement and installation of 2 big ceiling mounted industrial fans which were donated to Preston by the Big Fan Company.  Our thanks go out to Preston parents Rosina & Vinny Mandile through whose efforts we received this wonderful donation.

We had to move out of our Main Office last week to allow the workers to install the plumbing and wiring for the lab above us.  It's been a real challenge to keep the office functioning as we relocate to wherever we can find a working computer in the mansion, but we're hopeful we can get back into our regular space next week.

Stay tuned for further details in the days ahead!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

We're making progress!

The interior demolition work on the labs is complete and each room is just a hollow shell (see new photos!). Workers have begun hanging the grid for the ceiling tiles & lights. Roof removal is finally completed and they have begun installing new roof drains (which caused a slurry of "stuff" to rain down from the gym ceiling). This week our brand new windows will arrive and installation will begin as well. Things are really taking shape. According to our construction managers, we're still right on target for completion of the project by the beginning of September!  

P.S.  We're planning to celebrate completion of our Science & Technology corridor with a "thank you" celebration and ribbon-cutting on Thursday, October 6th. Mark you calendars & please plan to join us that evening.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Into Every Life A Little Rain Must Fall

We returned from the weekend to find we'd sprung a few leaks.  Friday's steady rainfall made its way through the protective covering on our roof--a not wholly unexpected development, given that the old roof has been removed and a new roof awaits installation of HVAC equipment & other paraphernalia. What was a surprise was the leaky plumbing in the ceiling of the 1st floor.  It surprised the plumber, too!  But we've cleaned up the mess, the water has been turned off throughout the building, and work on the labs continues.

From the pounding and scraping going on over my head, I'd say that internal demolition work is under way in Room 200.  Sr. Laura's office is no more. She's managed to clean out 20 years of accumulated "stuff" in anticipation of her move to Good Counsel!  And Margaret Damo's office has relocated to Room 12 in the mansion, all to accommodate a larger Room 200 which will be a Biology & Earth Science lab.

And so it goes...

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Putting on the Roof

Work continues on the roof replacement.  Today we arrived to find the school's main entrance roped off by yellow tape as workmen toiled to remove the old roof two stories above our front doors.  Much pounding goes on above our heads...but progress is being made.  More ceiling tiles will be removed in 1st floor offices and classrooms to expose the lab plumbing from below.  We just work around these interruptions as best we can, getting ready for the coming school year.

Pictures of progress

Pictures of the progress we are making...
Roof removal commences...Out with the Old!