KINDERHOOK–The Ichabod Crane school board heard an update at the October 8 board meeting on construction plans for the major capital improvement project now starting in the district. Interim Superintendent Lee Bordick said that he would be presenting a “sequencing plan” later that week so staff could review and comment on where students and classrooms will be relocated during the construction.
Work on a connector road between the middle and primary school buildings, which started in September, is almost complete, Mr. Bordick told the crowd at the meeting, held this month at the middle school. Normally board meetings are held in the high school library but the board is touring each building in the district as the district prepares for the construction projects.
Mr. Bordick said that, weather permitting, paving will be done on the road at the end of the month and the sidewalk between the two schools will be complete. The district is also doing research into gates that will be put up on the road during the school day. The connector road was put in so that buses, which stop at all three school buildings in the morning and afternoon, will not have to go out onto Route 9 and State Farm Road to access the primary school.
The road and some other, smaller projects were the first phase of a major construction project approved by voters last winter. The rest of the work will start next summer and mean big changes to the middle and high school buildings. Mr. Bordick said the district did research into where classrooms could move during the construction and decided not to move any classes off campus. He said they would be relocating students and staff “within the buildings.”
He also said, “It’s possible we’ll be building some temporary classrooms in the middle school.” The middle school classroom wings, known as pods, are all being renovated. There are three pods, so work will be done on each one at different times over one full school year and two summers. Mr. Bordick said that work on the 4th and 5th grade pods will most likely start in June 2020 and students will be able to move back to that wing in December, when work will start on the next pod.
The other large project in the middle school is the gym. Mr. Bordick said work would start there later in process and would take a year.
In the high school, he said work would most likely start with the math and art classrooms. But he stressed that all of the plans are preliminary. They will be reviewed by the staff and their suggestions will be brought to the construction manager for review. The school also needs to open the construction bids on the project before any final plans are made.
“This is a massive project. This is a complex project,” he said at the meeting. And he said the administration is looking at ways of “keeping students and staff safe while construction is going on” while not sacrificing any academic programs.
The superintendent plans to host a public meeting to go over the plans and update residents on project on Wednesday, October 30 at 6:30 p.m. There is construction information on the website at www.ichabodcrane.org.
Also at the meeting:
• The board appointed Anthony Marturano as acting middle school principal. Mr. Maturano is currently the high school assistant principal but was for many years the assistant principal in the middle school. Middle School Principal Tim Farley is on leave due to surgery. Mr. Bordick said that Mr. Farley should be out for next four to six weeks. “I’m confident we will not miss a beat in the next six weeks,” Mr. Bordick said of the appointment. Board President Matthew Nelson said the board “wished Mr. Farley the best as he undergoes surgery”
• The board also hired Doug Kelly as acting high school assistant principal while Mr. Marturano is in the middle school. Mr. Kelly has worked in the district before. Mr. Kelly will be paid $400 per day
• The board heard the annual audit report from West and Company saying the district once again received the highest rating called an “unqualified opinion” from the auditing firm
• The new Tyler Drive system for the school buses, which was supposed to be rolled earlier this month is being put on hold because student badges were not delivered on time. The system comes with GPS software for the buses and ID badges for students in the primary and middle schools.
The next board meeting will be Tuesday, November 12 at 7 p.m. in the primary school cafeteria.