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Lake George school renovations under way

LAKE GEORGE - When students at the two Lake George schools report for classes during the first week of September, they're likely to see upgrades in their buildings and campuses.

The construction project, expected to cost $3.9 million, is likely to be complete in six weeks, authorities said. The Lake George High School building on Canada Street is undergoing extensive roof replacement, primarily in the area around the school auditorium.

The new roof - with upgraded insulation - represents about 65 to 70 percent of the high school's total roof area, according to Andy Caruso, superintendent of buildings and grounds for the Lake George Central School District.

"We're looking to protect our investment inside the high school building - which is substantial," he said. "The roof repairs needed to be addressed."

Also, a substantial number of sidewalks and steps surrounding the high school are to be replaced.

Beside the school along Mountain Drive, sidewalks will be cut back to ease traffic flow - to allow vehicles to pass more freely, particularly buses and emergency vehicles, Caruso said.

The renovation project also includes replacing all the student lockers in the school, and new bleachers in the gymnasium. The copper dome on the decorative cupola on the center of the school will also be replaced.

Caruso said the roofing reconstruction was critical, as leaks occurred sporadically over the last two decades, and intermittent roof repairs were not solving the problem long-term. Taxpayers should reap savings from the more permanent repairs as well as from reduced heating and cooling costs due to the upgraded roof insulation, he said.

In the elementary school, new sidewalks and parking lot lighting is the leading task of the project.

Also, play areas at the back and on the sides of the school are to be repaved. The playground pavement will include painted depictions of the world, the U.S., the universe and Lake George, Caruso said.

Inside the elementary school, updates are planned for the health suite, including expanding and updating the rest room to make it accessible for those who have mobility challenges.

Various electrical upgrades and informational technology enhancements are also part of the project, Caruso said.

The project started in late June, months after a year-long study by a buildings and grounds task force recommended about $60 million in repairs and upgrades, Caruso said, but the panel cut that project roster down to the $3.9 million "short list."

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