Capital project nears completion

By Mark Reynolds
Posted 9/30/20

Tom Ritzenthaler, VP of the architectural firm CS Arch, gave an update to the Highland School Board on the final touches that need to be competed on the district’s $8 million Capital …

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Capital project nears completion

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Tom Ritzenthaler, VP of the architectural firm CS Arch, gave an update to the Highland School Board on the final touches that need to be competed on the district’s $8 million Capital Improvement Project that was undertaken in 2018.

Ritzenthaler started with the work that has been completed at the Middle School; exterior lighting has been upgraded with new energy efficient LED fixtures that will increase lighting levels around the building. In addition, the number of emergency interior lighting has been increased while upgrading to LED lights.

At the High School existing light fixtures have been replaced with new LED lights and the number has been increased to illuminate more of the outside of the building.

CS Arch has replaced the existing dampers in the fan rooms as part of the HVAC upgrade.

New cabinet unit heaters have been installed in the Boys and Girls locker room storage areas that did not exist previously.

Ritzenthaler said some of the company’s upgrades will not be visible: the relocation of an existing switch rack from inside the boiler room to a designated server room. This rack, which serves the IT in the building, now has a fire-rated separation between these two rooms. They also installed a mechanical cooling system in the server room to protect and give a longer life expectancy to the equipment.

The stage curtain in the auditorium has been replaced with a fire retardant deep blue fabric.

The sewer pump station has received new pumps, controls, valves, disconnects and alarms and training on the new equipment took place last week.

There is a new LED sign that has been installed in front of the High School and training for the sign is scheduled for October 2. Also in front of the high school there is a new reconfigured bus loop, a dedicated parent-drop off/pick up area and some parking spaces with a safe entrance way into the building that have been completed. A new 10 ft. wide sidewalk runs along the front side of the high school from the Central Administration Offices to the main entrance.

An area in front of the high school has been newly landscaped and a bio-retention area has been added that was required for storm water retention.

Ritzenthaler called all of this “kind of a dramatic change” with added safety measures for parents, students and staff.

A new synthetic turf athletic field has been installed that can be used for lacrosse, soccer, baseball and softball practices. High fencing surrounds the field.

The Central Administration area at the High School has received significant upgrades: abatement of hazardous pipe insulation materials; new heating pumps and energy recovery units were installed in the heating system; an upgrade of the controls to existing finned-tube radiation equipment; replacement of lighting fixtures with new LED lights; replacement of ceilings throughout the Administration area with new grid-style ceilings and the instillation of new wood doors in the corridor.

The number of exterior lights at the elementary school has been increased and upgraded to LED fixtures. CS Arch removed asbestos floor tiles along with the adhesive and caulking materials.

Ventilators have been replaced with new units in all classrooms and new roof exhaust fans were installed to increase classroom ventilation; existing metal casework in the classrooms has been replaced with new plastic laminate materials; floor tiles along window wells has been replaced; heat pumps, air conditioning, and energy recovery units have been installed on the roof that will serve the music, band OT/PT, and special education classrooms. In addition, angled display cases have been replaced with masonry cases that will conceal mechanical duct-work that serves the classrooms.

Existing heating with new heat pumps and energy recovery units have been replaced throughout Central Administration; upgraded controls have been made to existing finned-tube radiation equipment; replacement of lighting fixtures throughout with new LED fixtures; new grid-style ceilings were installed throughout the Central Administration Offices new wood doors were placed in the corridor.

Ritzenthaler highlighted items that still have to be completed, starting with mounting a wall canopy over the main entrance to the Central Administration.

The high school library is getting a complete overhaul: the skylight roof is being replaced; new standing seam metal roofing on sides with clear sloped glazing system down the middle; new insulated wall panels on each end, wrapping the exposed vertical surfaces of the roof system and a new ceiling inside the Library with suspended LED lighting fixtures and acoustical cloud canopies;

There will be new standing seam metal roofing on the sides with clear sloped glazing system down the middle; new insulated wall panels wrapping the exposed vertical surfaces of the roof system and a new ceiling inside the Library with suspended LED lighting fixtures and acoustical cloud canopies.

At the elementary school, they are waiting for a few energy recovery units to arrive, which will be programmed and installed.

At the Middle School a few outside pedestal lights will be replaced.

Substantial completion of all contracts is currently targeted for October 20, 2020. Any work past October 5, 2020 will take place on 2nd shift [3:30 to 11 p.m.] to eliminate any impact to the District’s school program. Minor punch list items will still require completion and are targeted for October 30, 2020. Closeout of contracts, warranty information, other related documentation (as-built) will follow.

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