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Renovations near finish in Forestville

OBSERVER Photo by Anthony Dolce Shown is the second floor hallway in the Forestville Central Middle-High School. The floors and walls will be completed by the time school begins.

FORESTVILLE — Every year since Renee Garrett took over as superintendent of the Forestville Central School District, there has been some kind of capital project focused on improving the school. This year is no different. The school is finishing up a $100,000 renovation to the Middle School-High School second floor hallway, which features several improvements and remodels to make it both safer and more efficient.

“We’re getting a new floor,” Garrett said. “There were serious issues with tripping hazards. We also removed wall tile and the lockers, most of which were not functional. They were missing locks, had broken doors and shelves. We put up new drywall and are going to paint it and add the lockers back in.”

A big part of the renovation is that when the lockers are re-installed in that hallway, they will only be put back on one side. Garrett said the school is cutting back on the number of lockers this way, but it will open up more space in the hallway for students to walk, while still having the appropriate number of lockers for students.

“Three other hallways have lockers on both sides,” Garrett said. “We have plenty of lockers. We have a couple handicap accessible lockers as part of the State Department of Education. Having lockers on one side will make the hallway wider and better for space.”

Starting with the second-floor hallway is just the first step in this process, as the other hallways will be addressed for similar issues within the next three years. One hang-up the school may face for this year however is the availability of lockers. Because of a supply chain issue, the replacement lockers won’t be in time for the start of school, which will displace students to different areas they otherwise wouldn’t be in. Despite the inconvenience, Garrett said everyone will appreciate it once it is completed.

“It is going well, and we will have it ready by the time school starts,” Garrett said. “We have had to shuffle lockers around, but when they do get in, they’ll be installed overnight or over a break. It is definitely a hiccup, but it’ll be a total 180 and everyone will appreciate it.”

The price total for the project is extreme, but 86 percent of the project comes from state aid. Should the school not have had that aid, this project wouldn’t have been feasible, according to Garrett.

“It would be impossible to do with our regular budget,” Garrett said. “We really needed state aid. We wouldn’t be able to come up with that all on our own.”

Garrett said that they are also replacing almost all of the classroom doors and are trying to go with one standard door design with standard locks, while also looking at replacing some of the heating and ventilation units and the building, and addressing some leaks in the roof. All in all, the construction in the school is still ongoing, but the major renovations will be done by the time school starts, outside of the delay of installing lockers.

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