Construction work in six Schenectady elementary schools is on schedule to start as soon as April, with the biggest overhauls planned at Martin Luther King and Woodlawn schools.
The projects were on track to be approved soon by state officials and scheduled to go out to contractor bids in early-2019, Larry Tune of Turner Construction told the city school board Wednesday.
“In March of 2019, we look to be awarding projects and commencing construction in April where feasible,” Tune told the school board.
The construction is part of a $64.5 million capital project approved by voters in 2017 and focused primarily at the elementary school level. Some early work has been done in crawl spaces under the high school and to improve Lincoln Elementary’s boiler system, but the construction slated to start in the spring and intensify over the summer will have broader impact.
Woodlawn and MLK are both set to get about $13 million in work, remaking entrances, main offices, libraries, classrooms and the guts that run the buildings. Schenectady Superintendent Larry Spring called the MLK and Woodlawn projects “comprehensive overhauls.” Construction is expected to last well into 2020.
A handful of other schools – Lincoln, Paige, Van Corlaer and Zoller elementary schools and Schenectady High School – are set for work ranging from $500,00 to $4 million, some of which has already started.
Beginning in the spring, schools, particularly MLK and Woodlawn, may have to shuffle use of classrooms and other spaces as parts of the buildings are closed off for construction. The most disruptive work is scheduled over the summer break.
Another set of projects, for approximately $8 million of improvements at both Pleasant Valley and Yates schools and about $10 million at Hamilton, is still working its way through planning and approval and scheduled for construction starting in 2020 – at which time district officials are scheduled to start planning for a much larger overhaul at the high school as part of a future capital project vote.