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Saturday, August 31, 2013

Foundation - August 30, 2013

Today, was a historic day for our project.  Workers laid the initial foundation for the custodial room/restrooms/JPO room as well as for part of the administration building.

Workers have been carefully and methodically putting in the rebars (short for reinforcing bars) which will strengthen the concrete.  As I was sharing with some teachers, our students should peek over the walls to watch the workers.  I think this would be a great lesson in doing quality work.

The following photos show the pouring of the concrete.  It was a beautiful day, and everything went smoothly!
The custodial/restrooms/JPO room prior to the concrete-pouring
The area for the new administration building this morning
               Wow!  That's a TALL crane!   

This is a short video clip of the different workers and their responsibility in laying the concrete.
Look at the reach of that machine!

Concrete foundation for the administration building - they poured about half of the foundation today and continue to work on preparing the other half.

And here's the completed concrete-laying area for the custodial room.  

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Update - August 29, 2013

It's been nearly 2 months since construction got underway.  There have been some delays, but for the most part, the project is proceeding smoothly, and our school community has been very flexible. Students are being courteous when passing by classrooms to get to the cafeteria, and we have found ways to make the limited areas on campus accommodate both our physical education and our recess schedules. Air conditioning in Portables 12, 13, and 17 has made teaching and learning pleasant and minimized the noise and distractions, and adding more fans in A-building has helped.

Quite a bit of groundwork has been going on these past few days.  Here are some photos to show our progress:
Wow! That's a lot of steel rebars.  All of these will be  used as part of the foundation for the custodial room.  Can you imagine how many they'll need for our bigger buildings?

Digging has started to add lines for the custodial room and the administration building.

More digging between the cafeteria and F-building for the new electrical lines
Preschool has had to move their play area to the opposite side, between F and G buildings.  Fortunately, everyone has been accommodating about the extra noise during their playtime because we know that students, even our littlest ones, need time to practice their large motor skills.
Laying the rebars to provide the foundation for the custodial building.  Workers started doing this process for the administration building as well.  Tomorrow, the plan is to pour cement.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

August 23, 2013

Work continues on our project.  We are thankful for every day with beautiful weather because it means that the project won't be delayed.  At yesterday's meeting, the contractors shared that they are a little ahead of schedule.  Yeah!

Next Wednesday, the City will be doing an inspection, and on Friday, we will  be pouring concrete. The first area is the custodial room, and there will be several concrete trucks in the front parking lot area.  Then they will move to the administration building.  Don't worry, though.  There will be minimal disruptions.  Most of the work will be done between 9:00 and 11:00 (hopefully) so students may have to go around to get to the cafeteria.

Here are a few photos from this week.

The area for the custodial room is just about ready for the next phase -- laying the concrete foundation.

Work continues on the administration building.  Workers are digging trenches for the water and electrical lines.  

Another view of the administration building

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

August 20, 2013

Last week, the area for our new administration building was compacted, measured, and marked (can you see the lines?)

Now they're digging up the area to put in the lines for electricity, water, etc.  I'm learning that the foundation of the building needs to be done right!  The workers appear to be focusing on the administration building for  now.  Construction on the custodial room seems to have stopped at least temporarily.  I know we're anxious for that first phase to be completed.  We're looking forward to having restrooms next to the cafeteria!

More digging and laying of pipes

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

August 14, 2013

Today, I want to share photos to show how much our campus has changed in only a month and a half since our Groundbreaking Ceremony on July 1. It's pretty incredible to realize how quickly things are moving!

This monkeypod tree has been removed. 
These portables were moved to the other side of the field to make room for the new classroom building.
These photos were taken just before July 1, 2013 which was the day of our Groundbreaking Ceremony.



This is what the same area looks like today -- machines, dirt piles, black dust barriers, trenches -- what a difference!

August 13, 2013

The project is going well; it really helps to have a great relationship with the contractors as well as the whole team of workers!

Work on the custodial room is progressing.  Workers are putting in the frame for the concrete foundation.  Right now, students have to go around the barriers to get to the cafeteria, and some of the nearby classrooms are graciously allowing the use of their restrooms during lunchtime or for students in the afterschool program.  We can't wait for the cafeteria restrooms to be completed!
Workers are preparing the foundation for the custodial room which will include a JPO room as well as two restrooms.
Work on the administration building continues as well.  Workers continue to compact the dirt in that area.  I believe they're making sure it's level as well as compacted.

A team works on compacting and leveling the soil while another works on digging the trenches to lay down the pipes.

Friday, August 9, 2013

August 8, 2013

School began this week, and while a lot has been going on with our project, I haven't taken too many photos. Our staff, our students and their families have been very accommodating, and I appreciate their acceptance that with a project of this magnitude comes some inconvenience.  We are making adjustments to ensure that quality teaching and learning continues at Hale Kula.

Photos from today:
It was noisy this week when the workers used the concrete cutter and jackhammer to cut through the concrete to lay the pipes.  This is the area by the cafeteria where the custodial room. JPO room, and two restrooms will be built.  Workers had to remove all the roots from the palm trees so it took longer than expected to prepare the area.
Those white pipes are waste lines for the restrooms.  

If you look carefully, you can see a bright green string in the shape of a rectangle.  This is the layout for our new administration building, and it is huge!  In addition to the front office and area for our SASA and clerks, there will be a PCNC/Transition Center/PTO Room as well as a larger Health Room.  Also, there will be rooms for two vice principals (maybe we'll finally get a second VP), a conference/meeting room, and the technology hub for the school.  

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

School Begins 8-5-13

School began yesterday, and for the most part, things went pretty smoothly despite the fact that there are barriers up and students need to detour to get to different areas on campus.  We need to be vigilant; safety is our first concern!

Students and staff in P12, P13, and P17 are happy campers.  Heide & Cooke installed air conditioners in those classrooms, and they worked till after 5:00 on Saturday and till 1:00 on Sunday to complete the project.  The air system is much more sophisticated than I envisioned.  The main thing is that teachers and students are comfortable in the classroom.  Here's a photo of what the
This is the view of the air conditioning system from the back of P13.  

After a slight delay when a water valve had to be moved, construction of the custodial shed, two restrooms, and the JPO room are back on-track.  Workers had to dig deeper than expected to remove all the roots from the palm trees.  

Three machines were working in this area today.  Earlier in the morning, workers cut through the cement then used a jackhammer to break up a portion of the sidewalk.  We tolerated the noise since it lasted for less than an hour.  The students actually did quite well and worked through the noise.

Work is now proceeding on the administration building.  They are clearing any remaining roots, grading the area and leveling it off.  It can get pretty dusty, but the workers are diligently watering the area to minimize the dust.

The removal of the monkeypod tree has really brightened up the area.  We can't wait for the administration building to be completed!

Sunday, August 4, 2013

August 3, 2013

Although this is the weekend, workers have been at the construction site, working to complete the installation of air conditioners for P12, P13, and P17.  Portable classrooms often get hotter than the traditional classrooms, but because Wahiawa is at a higher elevation, we are fortunate to have cooler temperatures than other areas.  However, with the noise and the dust from the construction project, it would have been an unacceptable learning environment in those portable classrooms especially during the hot summer months.  (The poor teachers were perspiring in there last week, and imagine how it would be with 25 additional bodies!) Fortunately, we were able to get the air conditioners installed -- workers started on Thursday and will work through the weekend if necessary -- so the rooms will be comfortable for students from their first day back to school.

The air conditioner unit is outside the portable classrooms.  It should provide sufficient power to cool the entire classroom.

I was passing by the area between A1 and P17 and saw a bottle lying on top of a dirt pile.  Here's what the bottle looks like after it was cleaned.  We're checking to see if there's any value to it, and I'm wondering how many more bottles might be uncovered during the excavation phase of the project.  Perhaps we will have enough for a display.  In any case, this certainly provides evidence that glass does not decompose, a good reason to recycle which goes perfectly with our grade 2 unit on renewable and nonrenewable resources.


Farewell to Our Monkeypod Tree - August 2, 2013

On August 1 and 2, 2013, the monkeypod tree which provided shade in front of our school campus was removed.  It was bittersweet:  although the tree was beautiful, it had grown disproportionately, and "safety first" is always the most important factor in making decisions.  We were fortunate that the work could be completed before the students' first day of school on Monday, August 5.

We share some photos and comments in this slideshow.  If all goes according to plans, we will have a piece of the tree in our new administration building.  (We're still working on this plan.)

Farewell, old friend . . . we will miss you.


Thursday, August 1, 2013

July 31, 2013

Teachers returned to work yesterday, and the rest of the ten-month staff returned today, so it's been pretty busy at school.  Because students are returning next Monday, the work has been fast and furious!  Today, workers started putting up the stakes for the dust screens.  This will  prevent students from wandering into the construction area.  However, there are places where the screen is lower so students can peek in to see what is going on.

Tomorrow, the monkeypod tree is being cut down, and air conditioners will be installed in P12, P13, and P14.  We were worried that these projects would not be completed before school begins, but we appreciate everyone who made this a priori ty.  With the hot, muggy weather we've been having, those portables would have been unbearable!

Here are a few photos from today:
Left - Workers re-started on the area next to the cafeteria which will house our custodial shed, two restrooms, and a JPO room.
Right -- This is what they used to bore/drill holes in the ground to place the 12' stakes securely.

Left -- The fire lane is almost covered completely.  Just a short section remains.
Right -- Workers used a forklift and a wooden crate to ensure that the stakes were securely in place.

Left -- Barriers were placed strategically so no one would go into the construction area and get hurt.
Right, Workers begin putting up the stakes for the dust screens by the portables.