September 18, 2009


Dryden school project nears end

Middle-high school windows being replaced as final phase of $4.5M project

DrydenJoe McIntyre/staff photographer
Asbestos abatement specialists Jim Muha, left, and Jeff Bliss, right, prepare window openings at Dryden Middle-High School for new windows. The $4.5 million renovation project at the school is expected to be completed by mid-November.

Staff Reporter

DRYDEN — A courtyard at the Dryden Middle-High School building is serving as the work area for the final phase of the school’s construction project.
Workers are installing 117 new windows, arriving around 3 p.m. each day, as school ends. They unload windows in aluminum frames while other workers remove lead paint and asbestos from the building’s existing window frames.
Lights allow the workers, who are from Streeter Associates of Elmira, to continue after dark. They install about six new windows each evening.
The windows, custom-made by Michigan-based Litex Inc., are more energy efficient and slide horizontally rather than lift vertically.
The $4.5 million capital project’s other components are finished: an upgraded fire detection and alarm system, new heating units for classrooms, a wheelchair lift and new steps for the juncture of the middle school’s B and E wings, new roofing on the C and A wings, 10 renovated bathrooms, sidewalks and two new boilers.
The project is 5 percent funded by state EXCEL money awarded to the district two years ago. EXCEL, which stands for Expanding our Children’s Education and Learning, was a state aid program that offered money for capital projects that taxpayers usually covered. State building aid will be used to reimburse the district for the other 95 percent.
Rob Medeiros, construction manager for C&S Engineers of North Syracuse, said Wednesday the project will take another five to seven weeks to finish.
“We started on June 30, and the windows didn’t arrive until the first week of September, then we waited for everyone to settle in for the first week of school before we got going,” Medeiros said during a tour of the school.
The building on Freeville Road, constructed in 1965, has more emergency lights and fire alarms in the hallways. Medeiros said that fire alarm system has 400 new devices of different kinds, including an expanded system of nine circuits where there were two.
The new devices also include smoke detectors, heat detectors and alarm lights that emit sound. There are also 200 new emergency lights for hallways and classrooms.
Lighted exit signs hang at hall junctures, intended to be visible in smoke.
The new alarms flash as well as emit sound. They are smaller than the old ones, which had a bell installed in the wall behind them.
The fire alarm system was 25 years old and needed to be upgraded, Medeiros said.
Inside the school’s main entrance, the electronic map of the school that shows firefighters where an alarm is sounding, called an annuncator, has been upgraded to show alarm locations more precisely.
The main entrance has a ramp instead of the three steps that were there before. The sidewalks around the building’s front and the auditorium are new and total 300 cubic yards. So is a small handicapped parking area near the auditorium.
Each classroom in the middle school section has a new thermostat and heat system that is quieter and uses fresh air from outside, which it heats.
The boiler room has two new boilers, nicknamed Bert and Ernie by the staff. The boiler system’s piping has new turn-off pumps and isolation valves, 120 new elbows and 200 feet of pipe. The safety features have been upgraded, with carbon monoxide detectors and eye wash stations.


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