In March of 2018 the Berlin Central School District community voted on and approved both a capital building project (Capital Project 1) and a separate proposition. The capital building project included improvements to the Elementary and Middle-High schools and an addition at the bus garage. The separate proposition included the construction of a new running track, soccer field and baseball diamond at the Middle-High School.
The District is taking this opportunity to update the community on where Capital Project 1 and the separate athletic complex work stand.
“The projects are going along smoothly at this time,” said Shows Leary, project manager at Berlin Central School District. “There is excellent cooperation between the school administrators and staff and the contractors.”
At the Middle-High School two classrooms have been completely renovated, allowing for the sixth grade to move to a separate wing. The easy movement between classrooms and locker access for the youngest students in the school building has been a welcome change for both the sixth grade teachers and students.
This has made the transition more fluid and calmer between classrooms and allowed the younger students to have a helpful separation as they acclimate to their new school building. Three more classrooms in the Middle-High school are to be renovated with new ceilings and lighting during the February winter break.
The contractors are nearing completion of the new nurse, guidance and counseling suites. These suites will now be located in what was the sixth grade classrooms. The newly renovated and reconfigured spaces will bring the suites closer to the front entrance of the Middle-High School and allow for easy to access and centralized location of the building’s offices.
Once the new office suites are completed and the staff moved in, work will begin on what is currently the nurse and counseling suites. This work is expected to take place during the April break and will result in a new Family and Consumer Science classroom as well as a Science and Technology Flex space.
The Berlin Elementary school had exterior site work completed this winter. This project’s main focus was improving safety in accessing the playground and field areas as well as during bus unloading and loading. Fencing, gates and sidewalks have been installed in the rear of the building. During school hours two gates provide safe passage from the building to the playground, closing off vehicle access. During the loading and unloading of buses the gates are temporarily opened, and the new sidewalks provide safer access points for students and staff.
The inside work at the elementary school has not yet started and is planned for the summer.
“During the summer both school buildings will have significant work done,” said Mr. Leary. “The contractors and school staff are looking forward to this work, and they are all planning their moves already.”
As soon as the ground has thawed the contractors will break ground for the new Bus Maintenance Facility.
Considerable progress has been made on the new athletic complex since the start of the 2019–2020 school year. The track’s asphalt surface is completed and ready for surfacing in April or May, depending on the weather. The auxiliary track-and-field sites for discus and shot put and the basketball court have been installed. All the bleachers, scoreboards and fencing have been completed with the hope that the track will be used for the end of the spring season, depending again on the weather’s cooperation.
The soccer field grass was planted this past fall and needs a full year to establish, which will make it ready in the fall of 2021.
The baseball field, which was on hold during the winter months, is nearing completion and work will pick up again this spring. During construction an unanticipated amount of water discovered running onto the outfield.
“This is being reviewed by the engineers, and corrective measures will be needed,” said Mr. Leary.
The backstop, fencing and dugouts are completed, and the baseball field is slated to be ready in the spring of 2021.
Mr. Leary concluded with, “We are on schedule, and the work is being done well.”
In December the BCSD community voted to approve Capital Project 2, a proposition to authorize up to an additional $7 million for repairs and reconstruction at Berlin Elementary School, Berlin Middle-High School, and the transportation and maintenance facilities. This proposition will have NO impact on school taxes.
“The District continues its commitment to improving the instructional spaces, infrastructures, and buildings at a very cost-effective approach for the taxpayers,” said Superintendent Dr. Stephen Young.