Tuesday, July 23, 2024
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Construction Update: William Kelley School

It appears the Little Mermaid will be facing a cold winter. Construction at William Kelley School has faced some setbacks, and the arts wing, where the Little Mermaid mural resides, will not be completed before winter. Not to worry, though, the students will stay warm in the main part of the school.

The delay in construction of the arts wing stems from the discovery of step footings in the building adjacent to the new addition. This led to the need for new design changes, which resulted in delayed construction. What can you expect to see done with the band, choir, and art addition this fall? The foundation should be completed, the steel exterior set up, and the roof panels should be installed. Once that is complete, construction will halt due to astronomical costs associated with winter construction. The addition is slated for completion by fall 2024. In the interim, students are using alternate spaces for band, choir, and art, including the auditorium.

The addition visible from Banks Boulevard will be a new office area with a secure entrance. It should be complete by mid-spring 2024.

The two science rooms are working towards completion. Once the cabinets arrive, they will be installed, along with the sinks and countertops. Until then, science teachers are using alternate spaces. The new science rooms will feature better safety features, including better ventilation.

The new boiler system being installed at William Kelly School. (Photo credit: Haley Searls)

All classrooms received a facelift as part of the project. Elementary classrooms were expanded from 850 square feet to almost 1200 square feet. This spring will see a re-model begin of both the boys’ and girls’ locker rooms, including the addition of enclosed shower facilities for privacy. Student lockers will be replaced, and elementary students will receive slightly larger lockers with space for winter boots.

The project had already planned for the replacement of one of the smaller, non-operational boilers. The preexisting setup included one large and one small boiler, and when the boilers were inspected, it was discovered that the large boiler needed substantial work. It was decided to replace the large boiler with two boilers, giving the building three boilers total. Principal Daniel Johnson says that this setup “will make our heat source much more efficient.”

Once the decision was made to replace the large boiler, the two replacement ones were ordered, but they were delayed, not arriving at the school until the first part of October. The boilers are currently being installed, with a projected start-up date of October 19th. “We had a couple cooler days in the building, but most areas did not drop below 60 degrees,” Principal Johnson said. The school provided hot chocolate to the students on these days, which boosted spirits. The school expects the heating costs to be lower this year due to the efficiency of the new boilers.

Principal Johnson would like to convey this message to parents and community members: “As with any construction projects, there are always unknown variables. The district is working closely with ICS and the contractors to ensure that school continues with minimal disruptions to the learning environment. ICS has a project supervisor on-site each day, and I am in direct contact with him. We appreciate everyone’s patience with the construction process and appreciate the continued support of our families and communities.”

Haley Searls
Haley Searls
Hello! My name is Haley Searls. I’ve loved writing from an early age, though my nonfiction writing at five years old consisted mainly of weather and gardening reports. I still have some of those early articles: “It’s sunny.” “It’s still sunny.” “It’s raining.” I’m glad to say my writing has improved since then. I wrote a guest post for the Silver Bay Public Library blog, and was the writer/editor of the newsletter for my American Heritage Girls troop. I have been writing for the North Shore Journal since June 2022. Besides writing, I love reading, drawing, photography, music, and spending time with family and friends. Two books that have really influenced my writing are Reforming Journalism by Marvin Olasky and Writer to Writer by Bodie and Brock Thoene. As a journalist, I want to share positive community interactions and inspire people to make lasting connections. Article topics that interest me are ones which show community activities and involvement. Such articles include community events, youth accomplishments, library programming, small businesses, local history, local artists and authors, art programs, and cultural events such as theater and dance. If you have an article idea, email the North Shore Journal with my name in the subject line! I look forward to hearing from you!
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