School News

District 30 unveils past, future upgrades


The heating system at Shaw Avenue School is old, problematic and needs to be upgraded, school officials say. So it will be. This was one of several projects highlighted at District 30’s annual building inspection for members of the public and Board of Education last week.

The radiant heat system in original section of the building, which was constructed in 1950, will be replaced. Rooms in the that area of the building are heated from the floor, which contain a web of pipes carrying hot water.

However, it is becoming a more common occurrence for the 62-year-old pipes to break. That happened as recently as February, when pipes broke underneath one classroom. It knocked out the heat to an entire wing for two days and a class had to relocated for a month while the floor was dug up and the repair made. It cost $30,000 to fix, noted Facilities Director Greg Abbate.

To replace the system, heating and ventilation units will be installed in every classroom, and baseboard heating in some smaller rooms. The units will go along the outside wall, which means some existing shelving units will have to be removed. Holes will also have to be cut in the walls to bring in fresh air from the outside.

Abbate said that the district will have a little more than two months to get the project done. “It’s quite a job,” he said. “We’ll have to move right along.”

The project will cost $1.7 million, which includes the replacement of two boilers. Money is coming from the Capital Reserve Fund, and the expense was approved by voters in May.

For the first time, District 30 held its building inspection twice. One tour took place before school on Dec. 10, and the other last Saturday morning. During those tours, members of the board and community not only got to learn about upcoming projects like the new heat system at Shaw Avenue, but see some work that has been completed in the past year.

At Forest Road, Abbate showed the new sidewalks that were installed leading to the main entrance of the building, as well as some new brick work around the flag pole. The step into the school was eliminated and the sidewalks pitched making the entrance handicapped accessible.

New doors were installed at all three schools. Abbate noted that the doors at Clear Stream Avenue School have a wood grain to resemble those from when it was built in 1923. Board members also got a look at some repainting that was done there in the downstairs computer lab and library.

Abbate showed the new playground blacktop at Shaw Avenue School. For the future, he said he wants to replace the pavement at Clear Stream Avenue, which has been patched several times.

Some other upcoming projects that have already been approved include a replacement of the communications system throughout the district, new water filtration tanks at Forest Road School and a new electrical distribution system at Clear Stream. Lisa Rutkoske, the assistant superintendent for business, said there is no main shut off switch at Clear Stream, which means in order to turn off power there to do electrical work, the district has to call LIPA.

Abbate said he plans to have the carpet removed in the Shaw Avenue library, which is ripping and bubbling in some places. It would be replaced with carpet tiles. “That way, when there is a problem, we can take up a square,” he said. “It will be a time saver and a money saver.”

He also said the back fence needs to be replaced there, which was leaning into the backyards of neighboring properties during Hurricane Sandy.

In May, voters will likely again be asked to approved spending money from the Capital Reserve Fund for projects that would take place in the summer of 2014. Forest Road would see the bulk of the work. The board will consider replacing the heating and ventilation units there at a cost of about $600,000, as well as ceiling tiles and lights for about $550,000. Energy efficient lighting would be installed.

“Most of our efforts are toward health and safety,” Abbate said, “and toward energy conservation.”