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Construction at Kennedy to ramp up over summer months

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Warmer weather has ramped up construction activity at John F. Kennedy Elementary School.

“It’s exciting to see the progress,” Principal Susan A. Jacobs said of the $19.1 million undertaking at the school.

The building is getting a large addition on the north side which will roughly double the capacity of the current building to accommodate several hundred students displaced by the pending closure of Lincoln and Sherman elementary schools.

The shell of the addition is largely complete, with temporary electricity available, Glenn Erb, an architect with the Bernier Carr Group, said.

He said work will progress over the summer.

“You’ll see the roof line change dramatically from a flat-line roof to a bow-string roof,” to provide better drainage, Mr. Erb said.

As early as September the district expects to be able to use part of new wing to house roughly 85 students from Sherman, which will close June 30.

Lincoln Elementary School will close in June 2014. Kennedy’s student body at that point will swell from its current 450 to over 700, Mrs. Jacobs said.

Part of the project will see the main entrance moved to the north side of the building where an airlock security system will be installed to better protect students, city school district Superintendent Timothy M. Vernsey said.

The main office will also move to the north side of the building to better regulate the flow of visitors. Anyone entering the building during school hours will have to be buzzed in.

These changes will allow the school to move the student drop-off and pick-up zone to the north side, while buses will continue dropping off students on the south side.

Mrs. Jacobs said separating the bus traffic from family vehicles will ensure students are safer while coming to and leaving school.

Over the summer construction will also move inside as the cafeteria and band room are renovated.

The work is expected to be finished in late 2014.

It’s not just Kennedy that will see major construction over the summer, Mr. Vernsey said. Crews will begin revamping the sports fields at Ogdensburg Free Academy, as well restoring the roof of the Edgar A. Newell II Memorial Dome.

He said OFA’s libraries will also be renovated over the summer.

The projects at Kennedy and OFA are part of a multi-year, $57 million district-wide renovation project approved by voters in 2010.

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