SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ – School may not resume for another month but in the South Plainfield School District the summer months have been busy ones for improvement projects and repair. Funding of these projects is through both the general budget and the recently approved referendum.
"I am excited to begin the projects throughout the district. We are working at a feverish pace to ensure we will meet the timeline for the start of the school year,” said Dr. Noreen Lishak, superintendent of the South Plainfield School District.
Last week, crews began removing dilapidated sidewalks, curbs, walkways, and parking lots at Franklin Elementary and Kennedy Elementary and both South Plainfield Middle School and South Plainfield High School, launching the first of dozens of capital improvement projects funded by the recently approved bond referendum. This week work at Grant, Kennedy, and Riley schools will begin.
According to Lishak, all paving and concrete projects, along with installation of handicap ramps and striping, should be completed, weather permitting, by the start of the school year.
“When we committed to the projects we knew the timeline was tight, however the contractors have been in district everyday working 10-12 hour days to get the projects completed in time for the opening of school,” said the superintendent.
Other referendum projects currently under way and slated to be completed by the end of September include security camera installation at all district schools along with a new fire alarm system at Grant. Additionally, in the coming weeks, new flooring in numerous classrooms at the middle school will be installed and the first phase of the high school’s new STEM lab will be finished.
According to Interim Business Administrator James Damato,the first phase of the STEM lab project included asbestos abatement and updated HVAC as well as installation of a new drop ceiling, a full floor replacement, and new furniture. The second phase, said Damato, will begin next summer and be completed in time for the start of the 2018 school year. It includes the installation of new computers, mounted screens and other STEM-based technology and equipment.
“We are all excited to see the changes taking place in the STEM lab,” added Lishak.“Phase I of the project includes the installation of new technology equipment the students will utilize to support the STEM curriculum as well as upgrades in the lab itself.”
In addition to projects supported by the referendum, several projects funded by the district’s general budget are also under way and set to be completed in time for the first day of the new school year.
At South Plainfield High School, work the new broadcast room being completed; the air conditioning in the band room has been replaced; a new gym floor, complete with new wood and artwork, was installed done at South Plainfield Middle School; and a new band trailer has been purchased. Additionally, last month, a new electronic scoreboard funded through a collaborative effort between the Athletic Boosters, the South Plainfield Education Foundation and Investor’s Bank of South Plainfield was installed at Jost Field.
“The South Plainfield School District is going through some much needed changes. We are working to ensure the students have all the tools they need to succeed. Improved instructional classrooms along with facilities upgrades are the first steps. These projects will change the complexion of the schools and the entire community,” said Lishak, adding, “With such great community support, I am extremely optimistic about the South Plainfield Public Schools.”
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