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Crews finished packing up 100 tons of equipment and instructional materials from the Central School/Hauser Junior High School campus in Riverside last week and another 30 tons were carted from Ames School as District 96 began its ambitious, two-year school renovation effort.
The $25.4 million campaign will focus on Ames, Central and Hauser this summer, while Blythe Park and Hollywood schools will be overhauled in 2013. Asbestos abatement workers began removing floor tiles at the three schools over the weekend.
That work is expected to be wrapped up by July 4, said Superintendent Jonathan Lamberson, at which time workers will begin attacking the other major aspects of the project - replacing all of the plumbing and electrical systems, installing central air conditioning, replacing the schools' technology infrastructure and fire alarm systems and relocating the Hauser Junior High administrative offices among other work.
Two crew shifts, numbering 80 workers in all, will be laboring Monday through Saturday from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. in order to get the asbestos abatement work done on schedule. The district has shifted the start date for the 2012-13 school year to Sept. 6 in order to accommodate all of the construction. Last year, school started Aug. 29.
That information drew some fire from the Riverside Village Board at their meeting on June 4, with trustees balking at allowing noisy work to be taking place at such hours. The village's municipal code prohibits noisy construction work from occurring prior to 7 a.m. and after 8 p.m.
But Lamberson said that none of the kind of noisy work outlined in the code would take place after 8 p.m.
"There will be no construction noise after that time," Lamberson said, adding that other work such as painting might be going on until 11 p.m. "The ordinance is very clear with noise related to construction. I don't want noise in the community after 8 p.m."
Lamberson said a staff custodian will be onsite at all times to monitor noise outside the buildings. He also dispelled a statement made at the June 4 village board meeting that there would be generators running during work hours. Workers don't plan on using generators, Lamberson said.
The district has blocked off a driveway between Hauser Junior High and a residential building immediately north of it owned by Village Trustee Lonnie Sacchi, who expressed concern on June 4 about construction-related noise late into the night. Entry and exit from the rear parking lot will be from Akenside Road.
"There will be no deliveries, no trash pickup after 8 p.m.," Lamberson said.