Remodel at KPS will add classroom space
By Jon Dohrer
Kingston Public Schools
KINGSTON — A new remodel project at Kingston Elementary School will create five additional classrooms, a commons area and a versatile teaching center. Project officials are hopeful the renovation can be complete by the start of the 2013-14 school year in August.
Groundskeeping, Maintenance and Transportation Director Steve Johnson said much of the labor for the project is being done by school employees, helping to keep the cost down.
"I'd say we'll probably be able to do about 60 percent of it in-house," Johnson said. "We'll have to sub out the block work and the sheet rock, but we're doing a lot of it ourselves."
Johnson expects the cost for the aforementioned renovation, plus new metal siding for the elementary school gymnasium, to be in the neighborhood of $150,000.
The building in the northwest corner of the elementary school grounds is being remodeled for use by pre-kindergarden teachers and students. That structure has been used in the past as a wood shop, an alternative education classroom building and, most recently, as a shop for GMT employees.
Upper Elementary School Principal Randall Monroe designed the new layout and is overseeing the project. He said the buildout will not only provide additional classroom space, but also provide a nicer, more task-specific work space for pre-K pupils.
The plans call for five new classrooms, outfitted to serve as home rooms. Also in the works is a large, open commons area that can serve many purposes. New rest rooms for the students, as well as separate facilities for teachers, are also being built.
A unique "teaching center" space is also included. The room will be equipped with tables for arts and crafts. Those same tables can also be used to serve meals to the youngsters. Wash rooms for crafts, emergency exits and handicap ramps will be installed.
The exterior of the structure will get a facelift. New rooms will be built on both the north and east sides, gables will be added and new paint and signs will be included.
Although the elementary school gym has a relatively new roof and is presentable on the inside, Johnson referred to the exterior as an "eyesore." That's because the building is covered with aging, rusting corrugated siding similar to that often seen on old barns.
The building will now be covered with more modern metal siding, bringing the look of the outside of the building more in line with the inside. Monroe said the external appearance will be greatly improved.
"Really, that gym is the only unattractive building we have — not just at the elementary school, but at any of our campuses," Monroe said. "This will make it look a whole lot nicer."
School employees working on the project include Gene Kesterson, Coy Williams, Joe Flesher, Mike Smith and Mark Wells. Technicians Bill Wolff and Chris Bohannon are assisting with plans for internet at the building.