Despite holdups for a first-time elevator and getting power switched on, the $6.5 million building-wide renovation at Gansevoort Elementary School is on track for students to resume using it in September, say district officials.
The Board of Education was told Tuesday night that the project, which began last September, is "coming along very...nicely" overall and "momentum...is keeping pace" for the anticipated September opening, in a report from Superintendent of Buildings and Grounds Paul Rabbia.
Among new features, the three-floor 758 W. Liberty St. site is getting an elevator to bring it up to date with requirements for accessibility by the handicapped. But there have been delays in the arrival of steel needed for the work, which includes a prior storage area near the gym. The steel’s arrival is expected by Friday, Rabbia told the board, adding "we don’t anticipate any delay or any crisis as it relates to the elevator in the building."
While the total Gansevoort renovation is considered about 67 percent complete, the general construction portion is at 56 percent due to the steel holdups for the elevator, according to an update presented last week to the board’s buildings and grounds committee.
Another "minor setback" this week, said Rabbia, involved "permanent power" for the building that was to be activated by National Grid. He said a transformer was "sized...too small," and the power activation now is being "set up" for next week.
Gansevoort students, who include about 376 in pre-K through grade 4, have temporarily been using the former Fort Stanwix school throughout the current school year because the renovation required that their building be closed. They are scheduled to be back at the Gansevoort site when a new school year begins in September, while the next temporary occupants at Fort Stanwix are to be students from Denti Elementary School; it is next in line for the massive elementary renovations that also have included three other buildings since 2007.
Contracts with prime bidders for the Gansevoort work call for the building to be "substantially completed" by July 31, with the district moving back into the site in August, said Rabbia. The process will include setting up classrooms and related facilities at Gansevoort, moving operations from Fort Stanwix, while also preparing space at Fort Stanwix for Denti students’ arrival, he added.
"I don’t see anything on the horizon that can burn us....We’re pretty comfortable" in terms of meeting the Gansevoort renovation schedule, Rabbia commented after the board meeting. He added, "we’re still way...ahead of where we were a year ago at Ridge Mills," referring to the most recently completed elementary school renovation that saw Ridge Mills students return to their building last September.