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Architects and Construction Managers Answer Questions about Expansion of Greenacres School

GAExteriorThe long awaited construction at Greenacres School will begin this summer. At the Board of Education meeting on May 13, Assistant Superintendent Stuart Mattey announced that the $20,189,000 general contracting work had been awarded to Rok-Built Construction from Yorktown Heights. They were the third lowest bidder and were awarded the work after the two lower bidders, Niram and Worth withdrew their bids, citing mathematical errors.

On Tuesday night, May 7th, members of the Greenacres Neighborhood Association were invited to Greenacres School for a presentation by BBS Architecture and Park East Construction to review what’s in store for the community. While the parents of students were invited to a PTA meeting the prior week, this meeting was planned more for neighbors of Greenacres School who may not have children attending. Representatives from the architecture firm and construction management company told the residents about their timelines and plans for the work on the school, and then the floor was opened for questions from the attendees.

The construction will take place in a three-phase plan. The first phase is set to begin on July 1st, 2019, and be completed on September 1st, 2020; the second phase will take place from July 1st, 2019, to September 1st, 2019; the final phase will occur from July 1st, 2020, to September 1st, 2020. Overall, the entirely of the project is planned to be completed in time for the 2020-2021 school year.

The project includes the construction of new additions to the school, including a new learning commons for students, as well as eight new fourth and fifth grade classrooms, and interior renovations to every space inside the school, including conversion of the basement to a new storage space. The new portions of the school will be air conditioned and new unit air ventilators will be added to the classrooms during the summer of 2020. A dehumidification system will be added to the basement where there have been problems with moisture. Residents asked if either solar or geo thermal energy systems would be installed and the answer was no.

The school will be expanded toward Huntington Avenue, within 10 feet of the curb. Two new stair towers will provide access to the school. All of the interior renovations are set to occur during the summers, when the students are out of school, while the external additions will be concurrent with the school year.

Many precautions will be taken to ensure the safety and comfort of Greenacres students and neighborhood residents. There will be temporary fencing set up around the construction site and staging area on the blacktop across the street covered in windscreen. The fencing will have a double gate system to prevent anyone from accidentally walking in. Throughout the year, there will be noise monitors and dust monitors set up in the school to make sure that neither of those levels are dangerous to Greenacres students and staff. If the noise or dust are measured at dangerous levels, construction will be stopped until after school hours. The construction team feels confident that even if they have to do all of their work after school hours, they will still finish the project on time.

Greenacres residents at the meeting had some concerns about the project, and a few asked questions. One person asked about the trucks that would come to drop off supplies. Park East made it clear that the trucks would be prohibited from coming to the school during drop off or dismissal, and if they did come then, would be directed elsewhere. However, it was clear that residents are still worried about where those trucks will go and how they will affect traffic on the streets of Greenacres.

Another resident brought up the concern of asbestos and lead in the school after the summer construction. The presenters assured them that enough time was built into the summer schedule to ensure that the buildings would be thoroughly tested before children were brought back in. Many of those in attendance brought up worries about timing and the project extending over its projected time schedule. However, Park East seemed to have no qualms about going into overtime. They reassured the audience that there was enough time built into the schedule for anything to happen, and no matter what, the building would be open by the school year.

The contractors are expected to have enough time built in for effectively unlimited dust and noise preventing work doing school days. While Greenacres residents may still feel uneasy about the project, the construction companies seem to be confident that there will be no hitches or problems in the process.

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