NCCS completes first phase of $22.5 million capital project

ROUSES POINT Throughout the summer, contractors and construction crews have been working hard to get both the Mooers and Rouses Point Elementary schools ready for students arriving in the fall. The renovations were part of a $22.5 million plan to fix parts of the old buildings and construct much-needed additions. New roofs were put on both buildings, while in Rouses Point, a new bus loop and parking lot were constructed. Groundwork was also laid for a four-room addition to the Rouses Point building, with some playground equipment moved to make room for the external construction. The removal of floor tiles proved to be more difficult than originally thought, causing some aspects of the project to be delayed until next year. Asbestos abatement has elongated renovations, though that was expected, said Northeastern Clinton Central School district superintendent Peter Turner. Its a mess, but its coming together. It looks better each day, said Turner. Once you have a project and youre disturbing an area, if asbestos is there, then it has to come out. Its going to be an ongoing process, but the removal of the asbestos doesnt impact students going into the building next year. Theyre all safe. Theyre all sound, he added. As expected, the floors in the Rouses Point building will not have floor coverings this year, looking like nothing more than cement floors, said Turner. For now, the floors will have an anti-slip covering to prevent student accidents, until a new floor is constructed as adjacent lights are replaced. The top of the Mooers building will require capping stones to be fixed in the near future. The stones, which are designed to keep the weather out of the building, are in worse shape than originally thought. Its enabling water to get in the holes of the building and it just deteriorates the [school], explained Turner. [Masonries] are taking caulking that is failing or bricks that arent secure and making sure they are now secure, and part of the reason in Mooers that they are failing is the water coming down the wall. It makes a whole lot of sense to spend the money now to stop the water from coming down. The district capital project is in two phases, and with contractors out of both buildings last Friday, the first phase has come to an end. The first phase only serves as approximately 30 percent of the overall project, but it was considered a major hurdle, said Turner. Approximately 80 percent of the project cost is covered through state aid, with the other 20 percent roughly $4.5 million, borne by local taxpayers. The spending of money now is an attempt to save taxpayers money in the long run, said the superintendent. It certainly will be more energy efficient; with new roofs, that helps. The fact is we still have old buildings, said Turner. Both of those buildings, in Rouses Point and Mooers, were started in the 1930s ... If you dont fix them now, then youre just going to have to pay for it down the road. The second phase of construction will begin in a few months and continue throughout the school year. The addition of four classrooms to the Rouses Point building, will start in the fall. Bids are being accepted in early October, so the base work can begin soon after. Hopefully enough of the work will be done before the frost, and they are looking at working throughout the winter as well, said Turner. [The ideal situation] is that they would be done well in advance of September 09 thats the dream. Andrew Matott is a student correspondent from Northeastern Clinton Central School. A new sign for the Rouses Point Elementary School building is behind fencing as the Northeastern Clinton Central School district capital improvement project continues. Photo by Andrew Matott

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