The Whitehall junior/senior high school project is coming along nicely.
In fact, 35 students have been attending school at the building since Jan. 19, the Tuesday after Martin Luther King Jr. Day, with another 29 junior high students in-person in the WIFI room at the elementary school.
School superintendent Pat Dee gave an update on the project via email on Tuesday.
“We have the hope that we will have the Jr. High Wing available for students by, or on the month of March,” Dee said.
The high school has been closed to all students since the beginning of the school year thanks to the Aug. 24 storms and flooding. High school students had to go fully remote while elementary students were able to participate in a hybrid model, spending a few days learning in-person and a few days virtually.
Dee said that in the Jr. High Wing the spaces are completed with the exception of a few windowsills and window treatments. Hallways still need to be finished, and furniture has to be placed back into the classrooms.
“Abatement has occurred, walls replaced, new windows installed along with new flooring and heating systems in each space,” he said referring to the Jr. High Wing.
The library has also been finished and is ready to have furniture put back in.
The school cafeteria has had new windows and univents installed. “The entire space has been repainted and has only some finish work left to be done,” Dee said.
The floor has been stripped and the bleachers have been removed from the gym. Dee said that the contractor who is installing the new floors believes that he may have the materials in the building by the end of February. This way the floors can begin acclimating to the building humidity.
“At which point the new gymnasium flooring can be installed,” Dee said.
Locker rooms are also almost fully stripped and being abated for mold and Asbestos fittings. Dee stated that there is still work to be done, but things are moving along.
The Sr. High Wing is also progressing.
Floors have been floated and prepared for new flooring, with several spaces having new flooring already installed. The walls have been replaced and painted, with new windows and heating systems being installed as well.
There is still a lot of work to be done on the science labs, but Dee said he is very happy with the progress he has seen.
“We believe we will be getting the Sr. High Wing back prior to the end of the school year,” he said. “Initially, we did not think we would have the Jr. High Wing back before May and were uncertain if we would get the Sr. High wing back before the end of the year.”
Dee also mentioned that there is no update on the insurance battle with NYSIR, though the district is working with them on a resolution on the matter.
While there is not a specific dollar amount being shared at the moment, Dee said the district has been able to complete all of the repairs up to this point with the insurance dollars paid, district fund balance and unallocated dollars from the contingency allocation.
“To date, there has been no additional costs incurred or anticipated to occur for the taxpayers of Whitehall,” he said.