School upgrades displayed; Poucher retires

School upgrades displayed; Poucher retires
(Left to right) Granville Board of Education president Audrey Hicks, board members Michele O’Brien and Ed Vladyka and superintendent Tom McGurl speak in the cafeteria about potential plans while construction is ongoing (Photo by Austin Crosier)

An update on the construction project at Granville High School and the acceptance of the retirement of an appreciated administrator were the highlights of the July meeting of the Granville Board of Education.

Superintendent Tom McGurl’s monthly report to the board involved a detailed overview of the progress of phase two of the Capital Project that began a year ago and will be completed in 2022. After the meeting, McGurl gave a tour of the areas being worked on to the board members and NYVT Media.

“There is a lot of the building torn up right now,” McGurl said.

The project manager overseeing the work is Schoolhouse Construction Services LLC out of Delhi, with the construction company being LeChase Construction of Schenectady. McGurl said that the project is still scheduled to finish by the end of August but the current appearance of the building makes that hard to believe.

Dry wall in the technology wing and the pad for the propane tank have been installed. The school is still waiting on the propane tank to be delivered.

The technology wing will have pull-down electrical cords to plug in appliances and machines. Board member Ed Vladyka referred to it as “your modern-day shop.”

Construction proceeds in the school’s new greenhouse. (Photo by Austin Crosier)

The indoor greenhouse had its foundation built close to the technology rooms.

McGurl described the cafeteria as having been “completely gutted.”

“The ceiling is out, the floor is up, there is an abundance of wires everywhere,” McGurl said. “There’s a lot of cables that just aren’t even needed, so I think they’re trying to sort that out and see what can be removed.”

McGurl added on the tour of the cafeteria that the lunchroom will feature a new layout with an island bar to purchase meals, and counters and chairs throughout the cafeteria that provides a “college feel.”

Stepping into the auditorium, McGurl said there will be “pretty state-of-the-art” LED lighting, rigging and audio above the stage.

Additionally, progress has stopped on the light panels that shine onto the stage above the seating area after McGurl and Schoolhouse were unsatisfied with the product.

In the auditorium, progress has been delayed because new lights looked worse than the old ones, according to McGurl. (Photo by Austin Crosier)

“We’ve stopped all work on that and we’re going to leave the original lights and look for a better solution during the school year, and then they can do that in phase three,” McGurl said. “Personally, I think it looked worse than the original lights.”

Phase three of the capital project includes renovations to the high school bathrooms, the high school library and the complete renovation of the middle school.

Meanwhile, high school assistant principal Dan Poucher’s retirement was approved by the board, effective Dec. 31.

“I’m retired, but I’m not disappearing,” Poucher said. “I’m around and I’m looking at the next chapter. Thank you, and it’s just been wonderful to work with you all. I thank you and I love the kids here and I love this community.”

McGurl spoke of Poucher’s personal impact on him coming in as superintendent in 2017.

“Not only are you an absolute professional, you are absolutely committed to Granville, and I would say without a question, you are the essence of a gentleman,” McGurl said.

“Coming new into a district, especially when you had more knowledge about the entire district and longevity than any of us on our team, you’ve really helped to educate all of us and I truly appreciate it,” McGurl added. “You will absolutely be missed.”