HAMPSTEAD – Michael Hall, facilities director for the Hampstead School District, had a budget of $160,000 to complete 10 projects over the summer, and he is pleased to note that he is going to come in slightly under budget.
The most expensive project was replacing a well water storage tank and adding a new water softening system to the Hampstead Middle School water system, along with piping and controls. The well tank was put in place in 1978 and today sits under a classroom. The project also involved sealing off the old tank. The project totaled $56,700.
“I have been afraid a leak would happen and we’d be in real difficulty,” Hall said. “But we have cut off that tank and filled it with cement, and it will be out of service and buried. We have replaced it with a new storage tank and a water softening system, which will improve cleanliness because we will have fewer hard water stains, and it will improve the overall water system.”
The next biggest project was at Hampstead Central School. Hall said the cement apron in front of the main doors has been completely torn up and drainage measures have been taken. The new apron was poured and tipped away from the school so as to stop erosion and damage caused by pooling water. This project cost $20,075.
“We also have installed some additional drainage measures along the side of the school and the front to help prevent the water from pooling there, and winter snows won’t melt and collect there, causing damage,” he said.
The replacement of the shingle roof on the 1940s section of Central School will be completed before school begins. This had to be attended to this year after two damaging windstorms last winter caused damage that couldn’t wait any longer for repair. This is a $25,000 project.
The south wing of Central School is a continuing problem because of the material it is built from, which springs leaks and cracks every year. The cracks and leaks allow automobile fumes to penetrate into the building and prevent energy-efficient heating. Hall said it will cost $12,704.16 to scrape and repaint the exterior with two coats of paint.
“Even if this portion of the building were to undergo major changes if the school board puts the proposed construction plan on the ballot and it gets approved by the voters, it is money well spent to do this now for the safety of the students,” he said.
The window replacement for the south wing is another step in trying to make that area airtight and more energy efficient, but Hall said that work will not be done until winter. The cost of this project will be $8,000.
He said $1,085 was spent on two Central School restroom floors; pavement markings at both schools will cost $1,000; the Middle School gym floor resurfacing cost $3,375; and over the winter the Central School storage room partitioning will be done at a cost of $20,000.
Hall added that a number of classrooms, halls, and the gym were repainted at a cost of $7,000, and every classroom in both schools was stripped of furniture and cleaned – walls, carpets and furniture as well as the HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) vents, with filters changed and all lights cleaned and lamps replaced.
“Our custodians did a great job,” he said. “They will have done eight weeks worth of work in just six weeks because of the various recreation and educational events and classes taking place. But they’ve got it all handled and completely on track, and everything will be finished and everything ready – except the two projects deferred to winter – well before school is ready to open.”
Every exterior door at both schools now has security locks, part of a security upgrade, and additional cameras are in place, he said. “The biggest security change is the inch and a half thick, bullet resistant window that has been installed at the HMS reception window,” Hall said. “The glass in the office door has been changed so those inside can see out into the foyer but people can’t see into the office. These changes would provide time for office people to call 911, should an incident occur.”