Friday, October 6, 2017

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Kingston High School’s $137M renovation taking shape

KINGSTON – Kingston education officials Thursday evening unveiled two new additions to the high school.  The completed work represents the first leg of an ambitious $137.5 million Kingston High School renovation project, approved by district bond vote in 2013.

“This has been a very smooth project. We’re ahead of schedule, and we’re under budget, no major problems, you can see that it’s coming along,” said district Superintendent Dr. Paul Padalino.   “When people drive through our community they look at Kingston High School and they see a community that values education and maybe they are looking to live here. If you drive by Kingston High School now you see a huge investment in the community, by the community, in education, and families value that.”


Padalino: "... a very smooth project"

New interior staircase

Two new wings now stand sandwiched around the old Salzman building, the remaining core section built in 1980 directly behind the school’s historic 1915 Broadway facade.

The plan attempts to modernize a campus hobbled together from an awkward patchwork of obsolete additions and walkways – without disrupting regular classroom operations.

Renovations to the cafeteria and library are now underway within the Salzman core. Next, Michael J. Myron Building will be demolished – a former middle school erected in 1938, and later integrated into the high school campus. The old main building is also getting work. The last structure to come down will be the 1929 Tobin-Whiston Building.

The plan was modified smaller, and delayed by several years, after state education funding regulations tightened, reducing the work by 14 percent, to 360,000 square feet. The original blueprint called for completion in 2018.

Everything is currently expected to be finished within 18-24 months, Padalino said.

A school bus driveway through the middle of the block will alleviate neighborhood traffic congestion, built over the area today occupied by the Myron Building.

Padalino said the expensive taxpayer cost was worth the sacrifice. “If you drive by Kingston High School now, you see a huge investment by the community in education, and families value that,” he maintained.

Salzman East and West additions began operating to students last month on September 5, allowing overflow space for the next phase of demolitions. These cohort-style mini-academies contain vastly improved technological and safety upgrades, compared with their predecessors. Padalino noted that some of the former dilapidated classrooms were leaking rainwater.

“Our science rooms are state-of-the-art now, where before they were kind of patch-worked together by teachers who did their best to take what they could,” Padalino explained. “Now they’re brand new and safer, chemical hoods, eye washes, health and safety is a big piece of it.”

More info: http://www.khsproject.com/community.cfm

 


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