The Salem School District Facility Renovation Project, Phase II, successfully earned voter support on the March, 2012 school district ballot. This phase of the school district’s facilities master plan will address substantial additions and renovations to Fisk and Soule Schools and modest safety and security improvements at Haigh School.
The School Board, the school administration, and the architectural firm of Lavallee Brensinger worked with a community facilities committee to investigate and recommend a renovation plan for these schools. Bonnette Page and Stone is the Construction Manager on the project. Trident Project Advantage Group will serve as the district’s Owner’s Project Manager.
These facilities lack space to accommodate kindergarten programs as well as programs introduced within the past generation. The electrical, mechanical, and plumbing systems all need upgrades as do all the interior finishes. A facilities audit completed in 2005 identified renovation needs totaling ten million dollars. In 2008 the Board charged the Superintendent with developing a facilities master plan to address our aging schools’ needs. This plan was completed earlier in the 2009-2010 school year and considers renovation and expansion needs that will address sub-standard instructional spaces, poor storage, failing systems, inadequate security, and low building code compliance in all schools.
The Facilities Master Plan includes all Salem Schools. Three elementary schools – Barron, Lancaster, and North Salem – were addressed in Phase I because they required extensive work and were the most expensive to renovate and expand. The district eliminated six temporary classroom structures at those three schools and will eliminate three more with the Phase II project. With a moratorium on state construction aid, and because construction costs and interest rates are the lowest in years, this Phase II project is as fiscally conservative and responsible a decision to as was the decision to support renovations to the Phase I schools. Elementary schools were the first to target first because of the imperative to remove as many temporary classrooms as possible and provide appropriate classroom space for our kindergarten programs.
Floor abatement at Fisk and Soule Schools is complete. Construction will begin in September and will continue through August, 2014. Project updates will be available through this website, community news outlets, and district electronic mailings.