I took a tour of Peck Place School on Aug. 19, so I could see for myself how things were coming along with the building project.
From what I saw, I can say with confidence that students and parents will be pleased with the “new” school, after spending six months of the 2013-14 school year at the Yale Campus.
When you step in through the front doors of Peck Place School, and every other Orange school, you will find yourself inside the Sally Port where a security guard will point you in the direction of the main office. From there you will be approved and allowed to enter the school.
The library no longer has the “spaceship” shape in the center, the entire space is open and bright. The library staff has been busy over the past couple of weeks restocking the shelves and making the space their own again.
The hallways that used to be rather dark, now are bright with energy efficient lighting and a fresh coat of paint.
As we walked through the classrooms, it was brought to my attention that there no longer is insulation sitting on top of the ceiling tiles and the rooms can now “breathe.” During the entire tour the temperature inside was comfortable, both in the classrooms and the hallways.
The insulation is inside the walls and everything is set up so the pipes will not freeze (which, if you recall caused the catastrophic flooding last winter.)
Each room has new univents (heating/cooling units) that were in the process of being installed last week.
Water fountains are no longer inside the classrooms, but located in the hallways so the water comes down from the interior walls, not the exterior walls. (Another decision to prevent water pipes from being effected by the temperature during a deep freeze.)
If you are wondering why the town had to go out to bid for new cabinets, the answer is simple if you are familiar with the school, some of the walls are curved and basic straight cabinetry would not fit properly (wasting space and leaving a gap between the wall and the back of the cabinet).
The Orange BOE put it out to bid and received that number on May 8, which was the last day to submit it to the state (for reimbursement). The cabinets were ordered and expected to be delivered by Aug. 15.
Everything that was brought to Yale last winter has been returned to Peck Place School. Last week desks were still stacked up in the gymnasium, and some items were still inside trailers in the parking lot. But don’t worry, they will all be put in their proper places by next Tuesday.
Teachers have already been busy setting up their classrooms, putting their bulletin boards together, sorting books and anxiously awaiting the first day of school.
The teachers who were prepping their spaces last week expressed how happy they were with the brightness of their rooms. (And No, the rooms don’t smell like paint)
The gymnasium has freshly painted walls, and a beautiful new floor (the old one buckled under 2-inches of water during the flood).
The hallway leading in from the playground has a sturdy carpet, so the floors don’t get slippery during damp weather.
The computer lab has new lighting, which is muted so it doesn’t cast a glare on the computer screens.
The move from electric to gas will not only save on the heating bill, but has proved to work on keeping the temperature comfortable throughout the school.
The school will be open for teachers on Wednesday, through Saturday and again on Sept. 1 so everything will be perfect when the kids step off the school busses on Tuesday.
Small things like the roof trim, which will not effect the students most likely will be done before Sept. 2. The roof itself has been completed.
Trees have been trimmed back so the security cameras have the perfect line-of-sight. The butterfly garden also has been trimmed down.
The parking lot will not be paved immediately, that’s a project for next year.
Parents are invited to an open house the evening of the first day of school.
An Open House for the entire community will be scheduled for a Sunday at the end of September, so everyone can see what’s been done.
Principal Eric Carbone is looking forward to welcoming the students back “home.”