Middle School roof is focus of project

Gwen Chamberlain
Penn Yan Middle School

A new roof for the middle school building on Liberty Street is among the list of items the Penn Yan Central School District Board of Education will consider for a Capital Project that could be sent to voters for approval in December.

School district officials have known for several months the roof should be replaced, but have opted to make small repairs and delay complete replacement.

Gian-Paul Piane, of SEI Design Group, the architectural firm hired by the district, presented a list of needs Aug. 20.

Between now and October, the board will work with SEI to decide which of the items will be included in the Capital Project.

The new middle school roof and associated components could be submitted for State Education Department approval first as a level- one alteration, meaning it does not change the building, and it could be complete by the end of the next school year because the SED review period would be brief.

Other items would likely require a longer review period, and therefore a longer timeline for completion.

Some of the areas that could be looked at more closely include:

• Road to the athletic field behind the elementary school: This gravel road was extensively damaged by the mid-May flooding and has not been repaired. Runoff and debris from the road went into the new elementary school playground.

• Bus Maintenance/District Office Building: Piane said the building’s placement poses parking and traffic challenges, and there are “quite a few” issues in the building. He said the board should consider if this structure’s purpose could be moved off campus, and perhaps be part of a shared facility.

• Elementary School: While concerns have been raised about cracks in flooring, Piane said the issue is not structural, but aesthetic. Rather than take steps to change the condition that causes the cracks (alterations to the multiple concrete floor plates), he said new floor covering material could be used to prevent cracks from forming.

• Middle School: In addition to the new roof, other mechanical units on the roof and the skylight over the lobby should be replaced.

• Academy: Piane said the newest building is in the best shape following the most recent major renovations, but some air handling issues could be fixed. “That building doesn’t quite scream as loud as some of the other areas,” he said.

Other business at the board’s Aug. 20 meeting included:

• FLOOD DAMAGE: Steve Peterson, a representative from Watchdog Building Partners, the district’s construction management firm, reported on the status of repairs to flood damaged areas. He said most of the work should be complete by the time school opens. However, repairs to the middle school gymnasium floor probably won’t be complete until mid-September.

There is still some work to finish up around the athletic field, where flood water and debris damaged the track & field facilities, scoreboard area and turf. The track surface has been cleaned and should not require re-striping. The turf itself will be cleaned before Sept. 3.

The driveway from Liberty Street toward the bus garage will be re-opened soon as well, he said. Paving was scheduled for Aug. 21, and more soil and rip rap will be installed around the box culvert before the driveway is re-opened.

• GRANT: Interim Superintendent Howard Dennis reported Penn Yan is among a group of area school districts included in a $400,000 Teaching is the Core Grant awarded to Wayne-Finger Lakes BOCES.  The New York State Education Department has awarded about $16.7 million to projects around the state that are aimed at efforts “to improve the quality of educational assessments” and reduce the number of assessments that do not contribute to teaching and learning.

• MEETINGS: Board members briefly discussed changing the start of meetings to 6:30 p.m. but took no action because three board members (Elizabeth Warren, Loni Terpolilli, and Phyllis Record) were not present. It will be discussed at the board’s next regular meeting.