With the final touches being placed on the façade of a new ramp and covered basement-level egress at the middle school, the Bethlehem Central School District is completing the last of dozens of building improvements in and around its schools as part of a $20.2 million capital bond project approved by voters in 2013.
“We are finishing our capital project on time and under budget,” said Interim Superintendent Jody Monroe. “We could not have done that without the cooperation of the community and the patience of our neighbors and our students, parents, teachers and staff.
“This remarkable level of community support has paid off with refreshed buildings and grounds, much-needed repairs and improvements that not only serve the safety and well-being of our students but create an environment more conducive to fostering the kind of well-rounded education we strive for in Bethlehem,” said Monroe.
The $20.2 million Facilities Improvement Project included projects at the elementary schools, middle school, high school, along with the district’s transportation and operations and maintenance facilities.
The bond project also included technology upgrades throughout the district.
“A great deal of work took place at our schools and on our play fields at the high school,” said Gregg Nolte, the district’s director of Facilities and Operations. “Some of the work is easy to see such as the new track and field lighting while others, like the new double-insulated duct work on the roof at the high school, are not.
“That doesn’t mean they are not equally impressive,” he said. At the October 7 Board of Education meeting, Nolte was joined by Scott Bulriss of Campus Construction, the construction manager on the project, to review the final completed projects with members of the board.
“It can sometimes be a painful process,” said Board President Matt Downey. “I am pleased to say this was less so, thanks to a supportive community and the hard work of our district staff.
“In the same way you need to address wear and tear on your home, we need to stay ahead of operating issues to keep our district running as efficiently as possible,” said Downey. “We have done that here.”
Nolte and Bulriss provided photos of projects finalized during the summer of 2015 as well as those that are wrapping up currently at the middle school. The summer projects, they said, included several improvements to kitchens and cafeterias throughout the district, a new gym floor at Glenmont and new accessible bathrooms at Elsmere.
Campus Construction used aerial drones to capture several images of athletic field improvements at the high school and roof and masonry work at several schools. (All photos can be viewed below.)
“By the end of October, the new accessible ramp will be complete as will the portico leading from the much-loved ‘pit’ at the middle school,” said Nolte. “Also, people will notice the ‘black shroud’ is gone from the front façade of the middle school and in its place is new copper flashing.
“Our construction partners used great care in making improvements at the school match the architectural detail inherent to the building,” said Nolte. “This has been the case throughout the district and we are pleased with the results.”
PHOTOS OF RECENTLY COMPLETED PROJECTS
Bethlehem Central High School
Athletic fields and pool
Bethlehem Central Middle School
Hamagrael Elementary School
Glenmont Elementary School