School health and safety improvements planned for summer

School health and safety improvements planned for summer

Approved under $75 million school construction bond

NORTH PROVIDENCE – As construction on two of the town’s state-of-the-art elementary school buildings nears completion, health and safety upgrades are also being made to six other school facilities across town as part of the $75 million project approved by voters in November 2016.

The $75 million bond called for the demolition of two elementary schools, McGuire and Stephen Olney, and the decommissioning of Marieville Elementary,a nd roughly $10 million in upgrades to the town’s remaining school facilities. Those additional improvements were planned in the name of equity.

The upgrades planned for existing school buildings for this summer include:

North Providence High School

The bulk of the work on North Providence High School, expected to take place from June 13 to Aug. 15, is centered on heating, ventilation and air conditioning technology. Two rooftop units will be rebuilt and five will be replaced to improve air circulation in the school after it was discovered that its central exhaust fans were breaking down. Design plans are being worked on for the fans, which will cost roughly $4,500 not including installation.

Abatement work on the school was also done in mid-March, with further work planned for April vacation. The school is also slated to receive upgrades to its fire alarm system – though the price of that work is currently in question after asbestos was found.

Birchwood Middle School

Birchwood was also flagged for HVAC work to improve air quality, which will be done by replacing three rooftop units.

Ricci Middle School

Upgrades at Ricci focus on the singular issue of cracking in the school’s concrete walls. A group of engineers has been hired to study the problem and offer recommendations for solutions. Town and school officials said they might solicit a cost estimate once those final engineering reports are completed, but that they hope the money will be covered by insurance as an emergency repair. Drawings were submitted to Gilbane for cost estimates. In the meantime, officials receive a monthly statement from the engineers ensuring them that the building remains safe to occupy. They have identified no measurable movement since November of last year.

Centredale Elementary School

Torrado Architects is working with the Rhode Island Department of Education to finalize site improvements for Centredale School’s traffic pattern. After considering four design options, the Facilities Committee recently chose to move forward with the option that would create nearly double the parking and conform to RIDE’s parking standards. Before the next meeting with RIDE, Torrado will be tasked with estimating the cost of the proposal.

Greystone Elementary School

Four bathrooms at Greystone will be renovated under the current health and safety improvement plan. In addition, ADA improvements will be made to the school’s entryway, and the canopy will be renovated. Work is scheduled to begin mid-June and end by Aug. 19.

Whelan Elementary School

No further improvements are planned for Whelan at this time. The school’s roof was replaced in 2017.