We have been very busy here this summer! If you have had an opportunity to drive by, you have probably noticed quite a bit of action in front of the school! This is the bike trail extension and will ultimately hook up to the existing trail out by the Coop. Contractors are working both ends of the project and you can also see progress up by Colwell Ford. The trail will move through town parallel to highway 63 before coming up First Street by the middle school and turning South on Washington. Ultimately it will end at the corner of Wood Street. We are excited about this project and the opportunity to showcase our school to visitors along the trail. A big thanks to the City of Hudson for taking this on, there is no doubt it will be a huge draw for our town! This project is slated for completion on August 26th. Although this is two days after school starts, we are confident the school portion of the project will be completed well in advance of this deadline.
Another project we have scheduled for the summer is replacing carpet in the elementary school. Unfortunately we didn't get off to a very good start! After beginning the removal of old carpet, nine inch floor tile was discovered. This size of floor tile is a telltale sign that asbestos is present. Now asbestos is present is a lot of schools, and as long as it isn't disturbed it can stay in place indefinitely. However, since we want to put new carpet down, it is necessary to remove the old floor tile. After the testing came back positive we took steps to begin the removal process, which is going on right now and will be finished up by the end of the week. An environmental air monitoring firm has been onsite all week and will remain for the duration of the project. This firm works independent of the contractors and it is their job to take air samples before, during and after the removal for safety purposes. In addition to this, we were required to notify the Iowa DNR and Iowa OSHA ten days prior to starting the project. I am very happy to report that in spite of these tight timelines, we should be back on track with the installation of new carpet early next week!
As I mentioned above, asbestos is not uncommon in many Iowa schools, and as such all Iowa schools are required to have their buildings inspected every three years and have the asbestos documented along with a mitigation plan. In Hudson we just completed our re-inspection in May. You can read about it on page nine of the annual Topics newsletter.
We are also working to remodel the bathrooms in the elementary school, notably the restrooms in the first through fourth grade wing and the kindergarten wing. Unfortunately we are not able to get to the upstairs restrooms this summer, but hope to have them taken care of next summer. As you can probably imagine, the work in our elementary is quite extensive this summer!
The competition gym floor is also being refinished as we speak. The contractors on that project arrived this week and at this point have sanded down the floor to bare wood an put on the first coat of stain inside the three point arch. The new paint scheme is going to look amazing and provide a much needed update. I am sure you will enjoy it!
In the high school we have finished painting the commons and have new furniture on the way. The new paint will really show off our school pride and the furniture will certainly modernize the room, making it more comfortable for our students and everyone who uses that space. We are also working on a new 'Inquiry' space in the high school that is modeled after a maker-space room at the AEA. This room will feature cutting edge technology and enable all our students to engage in real world problem solving and creative thinking.
Finally, since we were replacing the carpet in the elementary school we decided to replace the carpet in the high school auditorium and give that space a fresh coat of paint. That work is scheduled to begin right after the Independence Day holiday.
I hope you keep enjoying your summer! We are working hard to make sure everything looks great when our students return in August!