August 16, 2012
Assistant Superintendent for Business Mark Michelini inspects a new science lab on Wednesday,
August 15. Seven new science labs will be ready for the first day of school on August 24.
When every school year ends at Stevenson, summer remodeling and maintenance projects begin. In 2012, the first major renovation of science classrooms in the school’s history leads a list of significant projects that had to be completed within about two months. Here is a summary of the most significant summer projects:
Science and mathematics labs creation: A number of classrooms in the 1600 corridor of the West Building (southeast corner) were renovated to create seven science labs with smarter, more flexible layouts that follow the National Science Teachers Association recommended standard of 60 square feet per student. All of the labs are designed to promote collaboration by seating students in groups of four, with multiple teaching spaces around the room. Teachers will have much more flexibility to move around the lab while leading a class, and the labs themselves will be used during a greater percentage of the school day than in years past. This is the first year in a three-year overhaul of the school’s science classrooms. In 2013, seven more labs will be created in the 1700/1800 corridor of the West Building, and in 2014, several classrooms in the 1900 corridor (West Building) and on the third floor of the East Building will be renovated.
With the creation of seven new science labs, four older science labs in the 1700 corridor of the West Building were turned into mathematics learning labs. The math labs also will feature group seating to promote collaboration, a strategy the Mathematics Division has followed for the past two decades.
Varsity baseball stadium makeover: This project, which was delayed by four years, will replace the bleachers that have become increasingly unstable and unsafe for spectators. The renovation plan also calls for replacing the backstop and replacing the dugout roofs. The majority of funding for this project is being provided by the Sports Boosters and the American Legion baseball team that uses the stadium each summer.
Areas of Rescue Assistance: Federal and state law requires public spaces to provide safe refuge and two-way communications for people with limited mobility in the event of a fire or other catastrophe. The school has begun to install two-way intercoms in stairwells throughout the building. Over the next three years, a total of 38 areas of rescue assistance will be created; 22 in the West Building and 16 in the East Building/Main Office.
HVAC system work: An upgrade of the heating, ventilation and air conditioning system within the east wing of the East Building was done to replace obsolete air handling units and antiquated fan systems installed when the wing opened in 1985.
Performing Arts Center entrance: In the entrance area, delaminating wood panels were replaced and several digital displays were added. In addition, seating in the entrance area has been expanded so students can relax and socialize during lunch and other free time.
Carpet replacement: The district is nearing the end of a five-year plan to replace broadloom carpeting (which came on rolls and covered large areas in a single piece), with individual carpet tiles made from recycled material. The individual tiles provide much flexibility for carpet replacement in the case of stains. If a student spills food or drink on a floor where there is tile carpeting, only the affected tiles have to be replaced. With broadloom carpeting, a large swath — including entire classrooms or hallways — had to be pulled out. The carpet replacement project is expected to be complete within the next year.
Alley replacement and repaving: The alley on the western edge of campus, which is used by the Buildings and Grounds Department, received a new surface. Also repaired was a storm sewer line than runs the length of the alley.