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Falmouth Middle School renovations on schedule

News

Falmouth Middle School renovations on schedule

FALMOUTH — Construction to replace the heating system, install new roofing and upgrade structural integrity at Falmouth Middle School is on schedule after crews began work in late June, school officials and construction managers said Tuesday.

While much of the school is in disarray now, with walls torn up and construction equipment strewn around the building, workers have made significant headway on the $5 million project approved by voters in June, Finance Director Dan O'Shea said in an email.

"All work (is) still scheduled to be complete by (the) last week in August," O'Shea said. (I am) very pleased with the construction management team and subcontractors."

Workers have installed new heaters and piping throughout the school, which will connect the system to the more efficient wood-chip boiler that now heats the elementary school and high school. The old oil boiler has been removed and its room will be used for storage.

"This work ties all the systems together and will make heating the schools so much easier," said Phil LaClaire, of PML Project Management, owner representative for the School Department.

Previously, the middle school was heated by a 60-year-old steam-heating system that had cracks in the line. The new water system is expected to greatly improve efficiency and lower energy costs, O'Shea said.

Crews have dug the exterior trench for the heat piping between the middle school and the elementary school and it is near completion, he said.

Structural work on the library and cafeteria roofs is also progressing. That work includes structural steel supports inside the building and new insulated panels and shingles for the exterior.

The upgrades to the roof structure are largely to comply with new code requirements, LaClaire said.

Energy-efficient windows for the 7th and 8th grade wings of the building are scheduled to be installed in mid-August.

The upgrades to the roof and insulation will dramatically improve heating and energy efficiency, LaClaire said.

The renovation bond approved by voter also includes funding to reconfigure science classrooms to provide more efficient use of space and to free up enough room to move two English classes out of the music area. The chorus class will move from a portable classroom into the main school building, with the rest of the music classes, when the work is completed.

In total, the reconfiguration will create two new classrooms.

Will Graff can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 123 or wgraff@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @W_C_Graff.