Follow by Email

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

July 29, 2013

Tropical Storm Flossie is predicted to hit Oahu tomorrow, the first day back for teachers.  Let's hope the storm turns away from the islands!

Fortunately, the inspection of our fire lanes took place on Friday, so workers were able to backfill and compact the dirt in the trenches.  I did see the workers trying to repair the compactor in the afternoon, though, so the job is not yet complete.

The rest of the work had to be put on hold since everyone was busy making sure the construction materials and equipment were secured just in case we have high winds and flooding.  I'm hopeful that won't happen - keeping my fingers crossed!

Workers are backfilling and compacting the dirt in the fire lane trenches.  There will be another inspection to be sure the compacting is satisfactory.

Workers stopped what they were doing to ensure that all the materials and equipment were secure just in case Flossie decided to make an impact.  Most of the dirt piles are gone now that the backfilling and compacting are almost completed.

Friday, July 26, 2013

July 26, 2013

Teachers return to work next Tuesday, and if they haven't been on campus since summer began, they'll be surprised at all the changes on our campus!  Several updates on our project:

  • The monkeypod tree won't be cut before school begins.  Hopefully, it will be done soon because the administration building cannot start until the tree is removed.  The wood shop teacher at Leilehua High School will be taking the bigger pieces when the tree is cut down, and we hope to have a table or a similar piece as a memento.
  • The inspection on the fire lane was completed today, so workers can begin to backfill the trenches.  I was a little worried about whether Hurricane Flossie might be problematic, but the project manager assured me it should be fine.
  • Teachers were able to get into P12 and P13 to get set up for school.  By Monday, there should be electricity and running water in those rooms.  
Next week, workers will be putting up the dust barriers in the area by buildings A, B, and C.  

Hope you all have a great weekend!  Let's hope Flossie moves away from the islands!

I believe these copper pipes will provide water for the new administration building.

Another storage bin was brought onto campus.  There will be a couple more to accommodate all the equipment, tools, and materials needed for the project.

Gee, I wonder what these are for.  I'll find out and let you know.

This is how P12 and P13 looked yesterday; today, all of the railings are completed.  The deck or porch area is quite large and could accommodate small student study groups.  However, with all the construction going on, that may not be the quietest place for students to meet.  

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

July 24, 2013

The project continues!  Here are a few photos taken today:
Guess what these guys from DPW are doing?

They're moving our crosswalk to make it safer for our students and families who are crossing the street.  The crosswalk is close to the exit from our school parking lot; according to traffic safety experts, it's better to have the crosswalk in that area because vehicles will have to stop to exit so they are more likely to see the pedestrians.  

The carpenters are really working hard and doing quality work on the stairs and the ramp for P12 and P13.

I wish the students could see this. Everything is measured so precisely, and the angle of the ramp had to be exact and follow guidelines of the Americans with Disabilities Act.  

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

July 23, 2013

It's been a few days since my last post about our $33.2 million project.  It seems that things were moving so quickly, and so much was happening, and now things are slowing down.  Some of it is due to unforeseen changes which need to be made; in other words, it can't be helped.  As someone who wants things to move quickly, I realize that it's vital that the project be done righ, so I am learning patience.

Yesterday (July 22), the workers found water valves which were buried. They needed to know if these were still operational and  if so, where they led to.
This valve turned, and workers weren't quite sure where it led.. FYI,  we had a project in 2004 when all of our pipes were changed, so these were probably buried for a reason:  they are no longer operational.

Carpenters continue to work on the stairs and the ramp for P12 and P13.  Little did I realize that they would build new stairs and a ramp; I just assumed they would bring the old ones over.  These are going to be way nicer than our old ones!

The custodians were able to clean P12, P13, and P17 today so teachers can probably start moving in by Thursday.  Ms. Park, Mr. Bevacqua, and Mr. Enoki have been waiting patiently!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

July 18, 2013

Not too much to report today.  The workers are continuing to work on portables P12 and P13, building the stairs and ramp to the rooms.  The fire lane is almost done, and we'll need an inspection before they can begin backfilling.  There are so many infrastructure details that need to be taken care of before actual construction of the buildings can begin.  We're lucky to have a contractor and staff who really are working with the school to take care of the details that will hopefully be done before students return to school on August 5.

I won't be in school tomorrow, so there will be no updates until Monday at the earliest.  Here are a few photos from today.

Building the stairs and the ramp for P13
Looks like they're getting ready to put in the dust screens by the portables and buildings A, B, and C
We had hoped to have the stairs and ramp completed for P13 so the custodians can clean the room and the teacher can start setting up.  Looks like it's not quite ready.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

July 17, 2013

I thought I'd share a photo album with you today.  I'm surely enjoying documenting our project through this blog, and I'm learning so much!  Everyone has been really patient with my questions.

Click on the hyperlink and then the photo if you want to read the captions.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

July 15, 2013

One thing I'm learning from this construction project is to be flexible and expect the unexpected.

When I got into work today, our head custodian informed me that a tree had fallen on the playcourt.  She said it had just happened this morning as the workers were getting ready for the day.  They heard a loud crack and then saw the tree falling.  We went to take a look, and I was grateful that no one was in the area when it happened.  The jacaranda tree was felled by termites, and now, we need to inspect all of the trees in that area.  We certainly don't want anything to happen while we're constructing our new building! Fortunately, the arborist and tree trimmers are scheduled to come on Wednesday.

There was a lot happening with the project today!  Here are a few photos.

Workers poured cement into the trenches.  Next
step is backfilling the trenches.

I was hoping to get a photo of the workers moving the storage bin onto the trailer, but I was too late!  They had already moved it to the other side of campus.

Getting the storage bin into position.  It's amazing how quickly they got the job done!

The black tarp is up by A-building!
Bob Purdie from DOE Facilities provided the following information :  
The black tarp is a barrier, but more importantly it is a dust fence to fend off fugitive dust from construction operations from entering/disturbing the school.

The dust fence is used in concert with other dust control measures to maintain a pleasant and healthy air quality.  Not saying that you won't experience some dusts from time to time, because that is the nature of the work; but, dust should be minimized..

The portables have been lifted onto the trailers.  The plan is to move them to their new location on Wednesday and Thursday.  

Concrete was poured into the trenches for the electrical and water lines.  Tomorrow, they will fill the trenches with dirt.  

The whole area in front of F-building is now blocked off by orange fencing.  Classes will have to allow more time to get to the cafeteria for lunch or assemblies until the water valve is relocated.  

Saturday, July 13, 2013

July 13, 2013

It's been a few days since I did an update on our project.  What I'm finding is that timelines are there as a guide only, and that we need to be flexible.  The monkeypod tree is a good example; no one realized that it would have to be cut down for safety reasons.  Also, moving a water valve to make room for construction by the cafeteria also wasn't in the plans.  We have to wait for inspections before proceeding, and sometimes this delays the plans.  Fortunately, we have a great team overseeing the project, and they are in constant communication with us.  They know how anxious we are about minimizing the impact on teaching and learning, and they are changing their timelines to accommodate our requests.  By next week, the portables and the storage bin for PE should be moved to their new location so the custodians can clean and move everything back in, and the teachers can start setting up.  Originally, the move was set for the last week before school opens, so we appreciate the contractors changing the work schedule!

Now that we are readying for the new school year, we realize that there will be many challenges to ensure the safety of our students.  Earlier, grade levels agreed on a revised recess schedule and assigned play areas. Our PE program will definitely be impacted by the limited space for their activities, and our safety drills also  need to be revised.  We need to review our drop-off and pick-up procedures because traffic will undoubtedly be affected as well, and getting to school on-time, ready-to-learn is one of our goals for students. It will certainly take everyone's cooperation to ensure quality teaching and learning at Hale Kula!

I didn't have an opportunity to take too many photos this week, but here are a few from yesterday which show the progress of the project.

Workers are constructing the frame for the black tarp which will keep everyone out of the construction area.  More than anything, I think these barriers will be a reminder of the size of our project.  This is one of the challenges of having new construction taking place while continuing to maintain a safe and nurturing learning environment.

The fire lane is just about completed.  We are waiting for an inspection before backfillling.  I'm still a bit worried about that tree though the project manager assures me it should take only one or two days.

Finishing up work on the fire lane

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

July 10, 2013

I thought it would a nice change of pace to share the Picasa album of photos instead of posting photos from today.  To see the photos up to today, July 10, click on the hyperlink.

Feel free to ask questions or post comments regarding our project!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

July 9, 2013

Several teachers have come by this week and commented about how amazed they are at all the work that has already been done.  We know this is just the preliminary phase and that when the actual construction begins, there will be lots more workers on campus.  For now, though, things are going well.  Here are a few photos from today.

I really must find out the names of all these machines!  Today, when I  arrived at school,  this machine was already busy at work, digging along the fence.
You can see the trench that is being dug as well as a huge rock which was excavated.  Workers are digging this trench to lay down pipes for the water to the new buildings.  Until the pipes are laid and covered up, workers cannot start on the new administration building.  
The fire alarm system has to be disconnected before P12 and P13  can be moved to their new location.  The fire alarm company plans to do that on Thursday.  Next Monday, if all goes well, the PE storage bin will be moved.  P12 and P13 should be relocated by Wednesday of next week.  This will give the custodians time to thoroughly clean those rooms and then move the furniture, equipment, and instructional materials back in.

Monday, July 8, 2013

July 8, 2013

Looking at the photos I took today, it is hard to believe that so much has been accomplished in four days.  Just one week ago, we were celebrating our groundbreaking event!  See if you agree with me about how much has been done in such a short time.

These are the barriers by the cafeteria where there will be a new custodial shed (their present one is next to the library), two restrooms (we don't have any adjoining the cafeteria), and a JPO room.  

I couldn't believe how quickly the palm trees came down!  
There are huge piles of dirt all over.  The electricity and water will be  redirected from P12 and P13 to their new location by P17.  This is all in preparation for the moving of the portables, hopefully this week.
Notice the pile behind the bin?  Those are the palm trees by the cafeteria which were removed .

This is a little blurry, but you can see two forklifts ready to move our PE storage bin.  The plan is to move the container tomorrow or Wednesday.

Today, our PE teacher, Mr. Bevacqua came by and we looked at areas where he and Mr. Enoki can hold physical education classes.  Truthfully, it will be a challenge this year because of limited space.  We know students need and love PE, and we certainly want them to benefit fully from the experience.  We'll brainstorm ideas and think out-of-the-box ; if you have any suggestions, let us know!


Friday, July 5, 2013

July 5, 2013

No new photos today, but work continues on the project.  The contractors are tearing up the concrete walkway in front of the portables and are getting ready to move the storage container (which houses all our PE equipment) to a new area.  The beautiful weather enables a lot of work to be completed each day.  Let's hope it continues :-)

The Hawaii Army Weekly published an article about our groundbreaking ceremony.  We appreciate the positive publicity!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

July 3, 2013

It's summer break, so I'm able to go out to check on the progress and take photos.  I'm wondering if I'll be able to once the 12' barriers go up.  I need to check with the project manager.

Things are starting to move with the project.  We took a walk around the area today, and I was surprised at the size of the buildings when completed!  There won't be much of a play area after the administration and classroom buildings are done..  Fortunately, the area in the back of the school should be larger once the portables are removed.

Here are a few photos I took today as well as some comments.
A storage container was brought in so the contractors
can store their tools and supplies.  Even if we are on
a military base, they still need to lock up their supplies
and materials in the evenings and on weekends.
Yesterday, the workers were digging the area to make the
entrance for the construction vehicles.  Today,
it's done! 

Dirt piles are starting to accumulate on campus.  This pile is from the  entrance area for  trucks and other vehicles.  Some of the dirt is really rich-looking, and we think we should add it to our gardens around campus.
Workers are digging the trenches for the electrical lines
for P12 and P13.  
Notice what's missing from P13?  The stairs!  The
contractor will be putting in new stairs to replace
the ones which in need of repairs.  We hope to
have the portables moved by July 25 (sooner,
if possible).

Wow!  These are the materials to build the 12' barriers to keep us out of the construction area.   The barriers are going up soon!  A-building will get pretty hot since they won't be able to open their windows.  

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

July 2, 2013

More work is being done on campus today after yesterday's groundbreaking celebration.  After meeting with the military yesterday, we received approval to build an entryway for all the construction vehicles; this will later become our fire lane when the project is completed.  Here are a few photos of work being done today.

Digging the area to make an entryway for construction vehicles to get on campus.

The plants are being removed, and shortly, the electricity and water will be cut to these classrooms and connected to the new area by P17.

Notice the black tarp on the fence in front of the school.

The contractors are working hard, and they've been very helpful to us when we ask questions.  We look forward to a positive relationship with them!

July 1, 2013 -- Our Groundbreaking Ceremony

Everything was ready.  The tent was up, the program was ready, the volunteers were in place, the weather was perfect.  What could go wrong?  Well, we didn't count on a dirt spill on the freeway which closed lanes and delayed our special guests.  The Governor told us to go ahead and start the program, but the shovels for the groundbreaking had not arrived either.  Fortunately, no one seemed to mind; it was an opportunity to meet and converse with others.  Governor Abercrombie, US Senator Hirono, and Superintendent Matayoshi  finally arrived, and the program began.  Everything went smoothly, and there was a feeling of energy and excitement in the air.

I look back on how quickly this project came together, and I am amazed! We found out that we were eligible to apply for funding in September 2011, and in less than 2 years, we are starting on a major project which will transform our school!

Here's a slideshow of today's groundbreaking ceremony and we were featured on KITV news this evening as well.  (Click the hyperlinks to view the slideshow and the news feature.)

Now, the planning is over, and the actual construction will begin!