Brocton board takes tour of recent project

BROCTON – During a recent regular meeting, the Brocton Board of Education took a walk – literally.

The board toured the school and visited renovated rooms that were a part of the EXCEL Capital Project.

For this most recent wave of updates to the school, taxpayers within the district did not have to see any noticeable increases in their taxes.

“This part of the project has been 98 percent aided by the state and the remaining 2 percent was funds from the EXCEL project that were left over,” Superintendent John Hertlein said.

According to engineers giving the tour, more than 33,000 feet of new copper piping was installed. Various rooms still have exposed piping and uncovered radiators, but Hertlein said everything that needs to be put in order before the new school year starts will be completed by then.

“I was assured … and feel confident that the place will be safe and ready for kids. What won’t be done is it won’t be hooked up to the boilers and air conditioning until mid-September,” he said.

“There will also not be construction done once school starts. They can be underneath or on top of the building or in the pool area on second shift only. They can’t be any place in the halls. This school will be safe and in shape for kids and we will benefit from it.”

Hertlein said as part of the project, all asbestos in the building was removed. Air conditioning has been installed in the new wing of the school and the heating system will run entirely on water now instead of half steam and half water.

Many of the rooms visited included SMART Boards (which are interactive projectors), of which 81 have been installed throughout the building. As part of keeping up-to-date on technology, the school also installed 200 new all-in-one computers. Fifty are hard-wired into a system for regional exam testing, meaning students can take a test on them at the same time. The computers will be used as part of a new graphic arts center, technology shop and online learning center, among other areas of the school.

In the food service area, a new walk-in cooler and freezer are part of the kitchen, in addition to the originals. The dish washer and ovens were also refurbished and a new tilting braiser was installed. The cafeteria has been revamped with new walls, flooring and skylights and students will be presented with a food court-style display complete with self-serve areas, a salad bar, a pizza grill and a hot food bar.

Across from the high school gymnasium, the tech shop (which also received new equipment) was re-located and a fitness center, complete with a yoga/dance studio, was put in its place. The engineers said while equipment has not been installed yet, it will be arriving within the next few days. Hertlein said all of the machines will be handicap-accessible.

Renovations to the pool are ongoing and will not be completed until later on this year. As part of completed upgrades, a saline chlorination system has been installed, as well as new tiling on the pool floor and a new pool ramp, cover, scoreboard, drain and eventual security cameras.

New boilers and roofing were also installed as part of the project, as well as new stone for the steps to the front entrance and lights for the clock tower that are capable of changing colors. In addition, many classrooms were fitted with new sinks, bathrooms and cabinets.

Hertlein said the entire project will be done by around Nov. 10.

To view pictures of the recent renovations to the school that were taken during the tour, go to cu.observertoday.com.

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