As the Sept. 5 first day of school approaches in Island Trees, summer construction projects in the district's schools are well underway and nearing completion. Superintendent of Schools Richard Segerdahl recently announced the many projects occurring at the schools, and is confident that they will be finished once school begins and provide various accommodations to the district and its students. Among the many projects being done this summer, classrooms are being built to accommodate the district's full day kindergarten program which will be offered for the first time this fall.
In addition to accommodating the full day kindergarten program, much work has been done to increase space in the district due to a growing student population. All of the capital improvements which are being done in the district were paid for through a regular school budget the community voted in favor of during budget time.
At Island Trees High School, spine and sheetrock ceilings were removed in the first floor corridor and drop ceilings were put in their places. In addition, original hallway ceiling fixtures were removed and replaced with more efficient incandescent fixtures. Nearly 40 classrooms were installed with wiring so computers could be used in those rooms.
The middle school also saw many improvements, including the renovation of a former custodial office which was redone as an office for the district athletic director. The former office of the director was converted into a classroom to accommodate a growing population at the school. In addition, a portion of one old classroom was renovated to provide an extra office in the school's guidance complex for the school's new psychologist. To further accommodate the growing population, the nurse's office which had been previously relocated was moved back to its original location. This was done also to provide space for another nurse in the school.
Since both J. Fred Sparke and Michael F. Stokes Elementary Schools will be the sites of the full day kindergarten program, many renovations were done at both schools to accommodate additional classroom needs. A former music room was converted into a classroom at Sparke. In addition, BOCES renovated two classrooms at the school which they are currently renting from the district. The Sparke building was spruced up and several classrooms and the principal's office were painted, and the parking lot and driveway are in the process of being resealed and restripped.
The former district business offices at Stokes were renovated into classrooms for the full day kindergarten students coming in September. Several floor tiles were replaced with non-asbestos tiles and many classrooms, the main office and the cafeteria were repainted. The school's library also saw much renovation; the circulation system was computerized and automated and several stations, computers and a new circulation desk were built and installed. The school's cafeteria also saw renovations, a new closet was constructed to store folding chairs and cabinets were built in the kitchen to provide additional storage to the cafeteria staff.
The district business office and central administration offices formerly located at Stokes were moved to the second floor of Geneva N. Gallow School, to allow for full day kindergarten classroom space at Stokes. Electrical service at Gallow was upgraded and the school is in the process of getting a new elevator. To accommodate the move of the district offices, the parking lot at the school was expanded to fit nearly 50 additional cars. In addition, the front stage in the gymnasium/cafeteria was reconstructed and a sound system was installed and the room was painted.
Most of the projects occurring at the schools are near completion or have already been finished. District officials are confident that the expansion and renovation of many rooms and offices will provide much needed space for full day kindergarten students and the growing population of the school district.