Renovated and Ready

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Cartmell construction ‘ahead of schedule’

By Dave Taylor

Ongoing construction at Richard B. Cartmell Elementary School has entered the final of three stages, according to Carroll County School Superintendent Lisa James.


James told the members of the Carroll County Board of Education during their Jan. 6 meeting that fourth graders moved into their newly-completed wing following the Christmas holiday break.

“It went really well,” she said of the move. “We had everything moved over Christmas. The teachers pretty much had their rooms set up and they all looked really, really good. It’s really nice. For the first time (since construction began) everyone has their own room except P.E.”

The fourth grade had been housed in the west wing of the Cartmell facility until the Christmas holiday break. That area, now vacated, has had interior demolition operations and new framing completed, James said.

Renovations at the school, located at 1706 Highland Avenue, were needed due to overcrowding issues at both Cartmell and Kathryn Winn Primary. Once completed, the overall Cartmell facility will consist of more than 44,000 square feet of learning space, including a larger media center/library facility, expanded administrative space, a new gymnasium and a state-of-the-art, geo-thermal heating and cooling system.

Prior to construction, which began in January 2010, Cartmell housed students in Head Start and grades four and five. Kathryn Winn Primary, housed children in kindergarden through third grade. The two schools were reconfigured with the third grade moving to Cartmell and the Head Start program to Winn.

“We are on our last phase of construction and it’s about a week to a week-and-a-half ahead of schedule,” James said. “The office is framed, drywalled, painted and the sprinklers are in. Probably by the middle of next week they’ll be into the finished product in the administration area.”

The gymnasium is still a shell of a building, James said. Contractors will proceed with that portion of the project shortly.

While stone veneer has been installed on sections of the school’s exterior, installation of metal siding has been hampered by a delay in the delivery of materials, James said.

“Two out of the three colors are now on the school grounds,” James said. “There’s a vertical, a horizontal and a flashing that goes underneath. That’s a trim color that’s different from the vertical and the horizontal.”

Construction is expected to be completed this summer prior to the start of the 2011-12 school year.

“They are moving forward,” James said. The people on the staff are really happy with what has gone on. It’s a work in progress. I’m real happy with where we’re at right now.”

James also told board members that a pre-construction meeting is planned for Jan. 17 to discuss upcoming construction of a new Early Head Start wing at Kathryn Winn Primary.

“The paperwork has been shuffled to the state department,” she said. “We’re pretty much on target to begin in February for breaking ground over there.”

James also announced during the meeting that the school corporation received a $7,500 grant from Dow Corning Corp. to continue a robotics program.

“As you know we established that last year,” James said. “Mrs. (Pam) Williams and Mr. (Bill) Hogan have worked with Dow to ensure that grant again and we received a check for $7,500 today. We are excited about continuing that through our schools. We are establishing a meeting with the supervisors along with the plant manager along with our leadership to talk about partnering more with Dow Corning.”

In other business the board members voted to keep Jennifer Beach as board chairwoman for 2011. Vice chairwoman for the year is Carolyn Jones. Tracie Crawford was appointed board secretary, Jon Conrad was appointed board treasurer and Jim Crawford will be retained as board attorney for another year.

Future board meetings during 2011 will begin an hour earlier than in previous years at 5 p.m.