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Saturday, December 27, 2014

December 27, 2014

2014 is almost over.  So much has happened since December 2013.  We now have a beautiful, spacious office, five classroom wings have been renovated, the new classroom building should be completed in a few months, and work continues on the library media/student center.
Workers were just getting started on the 10-classroom building one year ago.
This is what the Administration Building looked like back in December 2013.  Today, we have a state-of-the-art office! 

This was a shorter work week in rather muddy conditions, but all-in-all, much continues to get done.  Tomorrow night, a trailer carrying Portable 9 will be moved to Fort Shafter Elementary School.  Fortunately, I wasn't asked to be present because the move is scheduled for midnight when traffic is slower.  I didn't realize that the portable classrooms already had a trailer underneath that made it much easier to be moved. The building needed to be cut in half to move, and I wasn't sure how the workers would do that.  Actually, though, the two sides of the portable are held together with bolts.  Made me wonder why schools have to wait so long for portables; they appear to be constructed pretty efficiently.  

Yesterday, workers separated the two sides to get ready for the move.  Otherwise, the portable would have been too large to move.

This is the back of the portable just prior to moving one side closer to the gate so it can be moved more easily.

Another view from the back. This portable was used most recently by our Instructional Coaches and Data Manager, and it housed our Robotics Team.  

One half of Portable 9; it looks so small!

Moving the portable was not the only thing happening this week.  Workers continued to get ready for a concrete pour in early January for the SOG - slab on grade - which refers to slab placed at ground level. (Contractors have acronyms, too.)

This final photo is of the trench by building A which connects the electrical wires to the handhold, I think.  We've had to go around to get from the office to the rest of the school.  Next week, they'll be pouring concrete and covering up the trench.

This is probably my last post for calendar year 2014.  Have a wonderful New Year and be safe, everyone!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

December 24, 2014

Our contractors hoped to get lots done during this winter break - three weeks without students on campus.  Well, the weather didn't cooperate on Monday. It was rainy and dreary, but the workers managed to cut the cement for the trench to connect the data and electricity from the library media/student center to the MDF room.  The trench covers walkway by B-building so we've had to walk all the way around to get anywhere on campus from the office.  That's okay . .  . I need to work off all the holiday goodies that people have brought to share!

Workers also continued with the footings for the new library media/student center building.  It was certainly muddy!

Finally, Portable 9 is being prepped to be moved to Fort Shafter Elementary School. After the portable is removed, the contractors will begin the prep work for a special education classroom adjacent to J building. It has been a busy 3 days!

It was rainy and muddy on Monday, but the construction work didn't stop!

Workers removed the ramp to Portable 9 and cut off the electricity and water source to prepare for the move to Fort Shafter Elementary School.

On Friday, workers will prepare for the move by cutting the building in half on Friday.  There are trailers underneath the building (I didn't realize they were there; we sure hope they still work!) The move will take place on Sunday evening when there is less traffic.  

Workers are preparing the pad for the library media/student center. Even if this is the third phase, I am still in awe of how much work goes into the foundation and infrastructure.  It seems that once the foundation is in place, the work goes much faster, but perhaps that's deceptive. 

Friday, December 19, 2014

December 19, 2014

This was the last week of school before a 3-week winter break.  There was intermittent rain throughout the week but it wasn't enough to call a halt to work.

During the next few weeks, we expect quite a lot to be accomplished. The contractors schedule work that might be very disruptive to the school whenever students are not on campus. Next week, they will be removing Portable 9 to Fort Shafter Elementary School; they've experienced a spike in their attendance and we need to move that portable to begin construction of a special education classroom.

Continuing to work on the footings for the library media/student center

It was really muddy, but the concrete pour was scheduled and the work continued on preparing the footings for the building.

It will be quite noisy when they use the saw to cut the sidewalk. 

It was too muddy to take a look inside the classroom building but I heard that it's going well. The dry walls and the doors are being installed.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Back at Work - December 8, 2014

After a relaxing vacation from work, I returned to school today to note all the changes that had taken place in our construction project. Being on vacation means that physically, I am not at work, and everyone does their best to not "bother" me with problems.  For that, I am grateful, but I am always a text or an email away if they need me.  They didn't :-)

So I walked around campus today and snapped a few photos of changes that had taken place since I was gone.  First, the barrier around the outdoor dining pavilion was removed, and although we don't have electricity yet, we can use the area for special activities. The furniture has been ordered and will be delivered sometime in early 2015.  Until then, we'll put in some temporary furniture so groups such as JPOs, Greeters' Club, or even classrooms can use that area.
Removing the barrier from the outdoor dining pavilion
There will be a concrete slab in the area that is still barricaded. 
Some areas of the administration building were painted; these accented areas will tie in nicely with the colors on the rest of the buildings.

Work continues to build the infrastructure for the library media/student center. 
The back view of the new classroom building.  
On Wednesday, there will be a concrete pour for the walkway for the new classroom building which will eventually tie in to A-building (once P17 is removed during the summer).
A view of the classroom building from the parking lot fronting the school - I still find it amazing how quickly everything is coming together!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

The Day Before Thanksgiving 2014

Well, it's Wednesday, November 26, 2014, the day before Thanksgiving.  I'll be going on a trip to visit family so I won't be updating this blog until I return.

Last week, I wrote that the contractors would be working 4-days although we had a 3-day work week. Well, the weather had the last laugh because work was called off due to heavy rains on Monday.  The workers made up for that lost day, though, and there's been a lot going on during the past two days. Here's what's happening for the past two days; I'm hoping lots of work is completed while I'm gone!

Pouring concrete for the footings for the Library Media/Student Center

It takes teamwork to get the job done!

I am always amazed when I watch them using that super-tall machine for the concrete.  I still can't wrap my brain around how it works!

After working on the Library Media/Student Center, they went over to work on the classroom building.

A different view from the front of the building

The classroom building as viewed from the back of the school. At least one layer of insulation for the roof is completed.  I'm often asked if the classrooms will be air conditioned, and the answer is "No" except for the special education room and the technology center.  Instead, the high ceilings, ample windows, and large fans will cool the rooms.  We'll be saving electricity while we keep the classrooms comfortable for teaching and learning.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

November 23, 2014

It's a 3-day week for students (but a 4-day-work-week for our contractors). Things are moving forward! Not too many photos this week since a lot of the work is being done on the interior of the classroom building as well as working on the footings for the foundation of our new library media/student center.

Lots of work goes into preparing the footings for the foundation of the building.

Working on the roof of the classroom building - putting in the layers of insulation

I still don't understand how everything works and how they know where to put everything underground.  I'm just grateful the workers are all competent and efficient!

Installing the windows on the second floor and priming for painting

Pretty soon, we will be able to use the dining pavilion.  Furniture won't be delivered until January but we can use some picnic tables until they arrive.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

November 16, 2014

We had great weather this past week so there's been a lot of work going on for our project.  Workers are digging, hauling, pouring, and doing other things I don't understand in the area where the new library media and student center will be built. We had a concrete pour for the first part of the foundation footings on Thursday morning.  That is always exciting!

Here's hoping for more great weather so the project can continue! Right now, the classroom building is still scheduled for completion in March (keeping our fingers crossed), and we hope for a final completion date for the library media and student center in summer 2016.

The workers got an early start on Thursday morning. By 7:00, work had begun on the concrete pour.
The concrete pour was completed without disrupting the traffic flow in the parking lot during the busiest time when students are being dropped off at school.  
I am always amazed at how much work goes into setting up a strong foundation for the building. This can be compared to education - if we can set up a strong foundation so our students have the skills, confidence, and passion for learning, they will be successful throughout their lives.
So far, about half of the total area for the new building has been dug up. When the total footprint is completed, we'll realize how large the building will be. We look forward to utilizing the space to maximize learning opportunities for all of our students.

The initial layer for the roof of the classroom building is almost completed. The windows are also being installed on the second floor. Once the roof is done, the interior of the building can be worked on even if it's raining.  This means the contractors can hopefully keep to the deadline :-) That taller area on the left side is for the elevator. This is the first 2-story building at Hale Kula, and an elevator is required for ADA purposes.  
This is the view of the classroom building from the back of the school (by C-building). As you can see, workers are beginning the process of painting certain areas.  Like the Administration Building, the whole building will not be painted.  Look at the area between the floors; do you see the design using different kinds of bricks? 

Friday, November 7, 2014

November 7, 2014

This was a short week. On Monday, the ground was too muddy to work, and Tuesday was a holiday for Election Day.  The rest of the week was really busy, though, with workers digging, hauling, laying the foundation, and getting lots done. The classroom building is progressing as well; the roof is going up! This is important because once the roof is in place, the interior work will go quicker.

Digging up the foundation and starting to put the pipes in

There was a beautiful full moon when I came to work this morning.  Workers were getting ready for the day and hadn't quite started yet. 
Making up for the two days of no work this week, there was a lot of work getting done throughout the day.
The end of the day - the heavy equipment and trucks are parked for the weekend.
Look carefully, and you can see the roof covering the steel beams.  I was out at recess duty, and some fourth grade boys noticed it, too.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

November 1, 2014

We are having an eventful week at school.  On Monday, students enjoyed a performance by the Hawaii Opera Theatre of "The Pirates of Penzance."  Yes, kids do enjoy opera :-)  Halloween is always a really fun time for the students, and on Thursday evening, families gathered to carve pumpkins in the cafeteria.  Yesterday, we had a Halloween parade with our youngest students participating, and today, the Parent Teacher Organization is holding a Fall Festival in the back of our school.  On Monday evening, we have a Math Family Night with lots of fun activities focused on math facts fluency.  School goes on concurrently with our construction project.

The Hawaii Opera Theatre always asks for a few students to participate in the performance.  
The students couldn't wait for the parade so they could show off their costumes!
The steel beams are in place for the roof of our new classroom building. It was amazing to watch the process of lifting the heavy beams and placing them in the right position!
Despite the rain and the mud, workers continue to dig the trenches for the pipes and the footings for the new library media/student center.  
Working on a project like this really takes teamwork - so many different jobs, each one equally important in the final outcome.
I was returning to the office and saw this beautiful rainbow, a bridge between the old and the new buildings.  
The PTO had a Door Decorating Contest for the Fall Festival on November 1.  Ms. Stachel's 3rd grade class took first place for their door.