Sunset redo nearly complete

July 28, 2011 • Local News, News

Michael Gottlieb, RISD Superintendent, shows off the front entrance of Sunset Elementary, Wednesday. (Mark Wilson Photo)

Construction on Sunset Elementary School will likely be complete by the first day of school next month, Roswell Independent School District superintendent Michael Gottlieb announced Wednesday.

“We’re very, very close,” he said during his monthly tour of the building [auth] with two of the school district’s secretaries.

The $5.1 million project, funded partially by general obligation bonds passed by voters in 2007 and by the Public School Capital Outlay Council that provided 72 percent of the cost, includes remodeling the existing building and adding a new addition to the north of the school.

The new addition includes three new kindergarten classrooms and three new first-grade classrooms, each complete with new yellow storage cabinet units, a kitchen area with a sink, a restroom and new white boards, cork boards and a high tech “smart” projection Promethean board.

As of Wednesday afternoon, the fresh coat of paint in the new classroom hallway was dry, colored monochromatic flags hung from the hallway’s ceiling and as a finishing touch, cubbyholes were installed inside the classrooms.

The new north wing school entrance into the school is also finished, and is more secure, Gottlieb says.

“You can’t take enough precautions nowadays,” he said.

The north wing’s new “Tot Lot,”or outdoor playground area for kindergarten and first-grade students, is almost finished, Gottlieb says. All that’s needed is some artificial turf. The new bus loop is complete, as is the parent-student drop off, though the new parking lot is still under construction.

Major construction in the east and west wings of the existing building was completed over the summer, including new floors, framing, ceilings, lighting, electrical systems, plumbing and piping. The renovations to the four classrooms, library, nurse’s room and special education offices in the east wing are finished. All asbestos has been removed from the school.

All that’s missing from the library are books on the shelves, and all that’s missing from the hallways are students, Gottlieb says. An open house is slated to be held next month to show off the school’s renovations. It will be open to the whole community, Gottlieb said, adding that he invited groups such as the Chamber of Commerce and the Roswell-Chaves County Economic Development Corporation.

The school still has to pass numerous state inspection tests once the finishing touches are complete, Gottlieb said.

Sunset Elementary is the fourth school in the district to be renovated and remodeled as part of a push to bring schools up to state code and safety standards. Before this effort, none of the schools in the district had been updated since they were originally constructed in the 1950s and ’60s.

University High School, Berrendo Middle School and Sierra Middle School were recently renovated, and four more elementary schools will receive funding for construction if voters pass a general obligation bond in August.

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