NEW ROCHELLE, NY — Construction crews are nearing completion of renovations and restorations of all City School District of New Rochelle schools funded by the $106.5 million bond act approved by voters in 2016.
The completion of those projects will set the District up for a final push next summer to wrap up work that is now 97% done. The projects’ progress has been helped, ironically, by the coronavirus. While the pandemic has caused so much disruption in other areas, it has opened opportunities for crews to work in school buildings that are only partially occupied, and often entirely empty.
“We’ve made tremendous progress and the schools look fantastic,” said Director of Facilities Carl Thurnau. “We are excited to plan for the future and continue to keep our schools safe.”
The summer work will include new sidewalks and drop-off areas at Davis and Ward, replacement of several staircases and improvements to a ramp for disabled access at Henry Barnard Early Childhood Center, and floor replacements at Columbus and Albert Leonard Middle School. Columbus Elementary School is getting new windows while new doors are being installed at Jefferson Elementary School. Isaac E. Young Middle School will get new doors. William B. Ward Elementary School will get new windows. George M. Davis Jr. Elementary School’s auditorium will soon receive new theatrical lighting.
This work will bring to a close a five-year era of intensive renovations throughout the District. It has included a wide range of work, such as improved drainage, removal of underground oil tanks and replacement with new above ground tanks at several schools, the restoration of the grand entrance stairway at Columbus and the new slate roof and renovated clock tower at New Rochelle High School. It has included new locker rooms, bus drop off areas and athletic fields.
The bond work has been combined with capital projects that have, for instance, fitted gymnasiums across the District with gleaming new floors, and added brightly colored playground equipment to several elementary schools.
In 2022, the District is scheduled to conduct a detailed Building Condition Survey, and again create a five-year capital facilities plan to keep buildings and grounds in good repair. The work done so far has put the buildings in a much-improved state, Thurnau said.
Interim Superintendent Dr. Alex Marrero said the care of the buildings help the District fulfill its mission of providing a high-quality, challenging education for all.
“Buildings that are welcoming and well cared for are essential for providing an atmosphere where students can experience the joy of discovery and develop a lifelong love of learning,” he said. “We appreciate the great work the Facilities Department and the construction crews are doing to ensure that our schools are attractive, safe and healthy.”