A few major facilities projects in the Kingston City School District are nearing completion according to school officials last month, including the Kingston High School Second Century Plan, which is coming in at $16.5 million under its original $137.5 million budget. Also wrapping up are projects at J.F.K. Elementary and M. Clifford Miller Middle schools.
“It’s pretty much at the end,” said Superintendent Paul Padalino during a meeting of the Board of Education on Wednesday, October 20. “There’s a couple of small items here and there, but for the most part we’re at a place where we’re at substantial completion…Contractors are starting to pack up and get out and complete the punch list.”
The Second Century referendum passed in December 2013 by a narrow margin of 2,265-2,082. Work performed during the project included the razing of the Myron J. Michael and Tobin-Whiston buildings, the addition of two new wings, extensive renovations of the original high school building, and upgrades to Kate Walton Field House.
Phase 2 work at KHS recently completed includes a restored and updated lobby area, with a terrazzo logo; landscaping along Broadway, new windowsills installed in campus bridges, and a stamped concrete memorial in the location of the former Whiston-Tobin building that includes the passage “Manual Training Building.”
“As most of you know, these letters came right off the building,” Padalino said. “They were over the old name, and now they are part of the Whiston-Tobin memorial and reflecting garden over where the building used to be.”
Installation of the Kingston Tigers’ logo in terrazzo on the floor of the restored lobby is also complete, as is the installation of acoustic panels in the music wing.
Broadway landscaping work included new bushes shaped to spell “KHS,” which Padalino said was a necessary replacement project. “I know there was a lot of concern that the bushes were gone, but the other ones were well past their expected life,” he said.
A $16 million facilities project covering other schools in the district is also mostly complete, including all punch list work at J.F.K. and Miller. “Some lawns are being reseeded, but other than that we’re pretty much done in both J.F.K. and Miller,” Padalino said.
At both J.F.K. and Miller, new curtainwalls along the exterior of the buildings replaced surfaces that were crumbling and inefficient. But the crown jewel of the project was a renovated auditorium at Miller, which gutted an interior and seating, original to the 1964 building.
School Board President James Shaughnessy said he’d toured a few facilities with fellow trustee Nora Scherer on Thursday, October 14 and was highly impressed. “When I went into the Miller auditorium, I almost fell on the floor,” Shaughnessy said. “It’s just so beautiful. It looks like a Hollywood set.”
Scherer agreed. “It looks better than it did when it was new,” she said.
The next meeting of the KCSD Board of Education is scheduled for Wednesday, November 3.