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Saturday, October 25, 2014

October 25, 2014

We had heavy rains last weekend and I was worried about whether that would delay work on the project.  Fortunately, work proceeded as planned.

I've learned over the course of this project that the initial preparation work takes longer.  A solid foundation is important for a strong building in the same way we try to provide our students with a solid foundation so they can have the skills to be successful learners.

Some photos from this past week:

Digging the footings for the next phase of this project - the library media/student center

Another view of the workers digging up the footings

Installing the steel beams for the roof of the classroom building

Saturday, October 18, 2014

October 17, 2014

The week started off with a Blessing and Open House to celebrate the official opening of our Administration Building.  It ended with Hurricane Ana approaching our Hawaiian Islands, the second such threat since school began on August 1.

We are feeling the vibrations of the machines - especially the rollers - as they compacted the dirt for the new library media and student center. After the ground was tested and passed, workers began digging the trenches for the footings.

We also got to take a tour of the classroom building.  Right now, the completion date is in March, and we hope to move in this school year.

Preparing the area for the library/media/student center

There still is quite a bit to do on the second floor.  Some of the work has to wait until after the roof is completed.

There will be a learning hub in the middle; it's bigger than a hallway and is intended to extend the learning space for students to collaborate or to work on projects.

I think this is the future flex classroom.  It's smaller than the classroom but has the ability to open up and be another learning space for students to collaborate, to listen to speakers, or to explore using different resources.

We'll be able to move the tech lab from the Admin Building to this room on the second floor. 

This is the first time I saw the renovated roofs.  What a contrast to the old roof!  This was has 5 layers of insulation which, with the big fans we'll be getting, should cool down the classrooms.

We could see the machines working on the library/media/student center building from our vantage point on the second floor of the classroom building.

Working on the covered walkway to the new classroom building

Working on the outdoor dining pavilion. This should be ready by early November, and we'll receive the furniture by January.  We will make a schedule to determine who will get to use this area. 

Monday, October 13, 2014

October 13, 2014 - Blessing and Open House

We have been looking for a good date since we moved in during the month of July, and today was selected.  Our staff was back at work, and it was a military and construction holiday so everything worked out nicely.  What a beautiful day to celebrate the "official" opening of our Administration Building!  United States Senator Mazie Hirono was at our groundbreaking on July 1, 2013, and she returned to share this special day with us. LTC Kenneth Sanderson represented US Army Garrison Hawaii, and State Representative Lauren Matsumoto also attended. Yuuko Arikawa, our Complex School Renewal Specialist, represented our Complex Area Superintendent who is off-island.

Phase I is now complete, and work continues on Phase II (classroom building) and Phase III (library/
media/student center and covered playcourt).  We appreciate everyone who is making this project possible - the Department of Defense and State of Hawaii for funding this project, our contracted providers S&M Sakamoto, Bowers & Kubota, and Design Partners, US Army Garrison Hawaii, and Department of Education Facilities Department.  We also appreciate our school community for their flexibility and patience throughout this project.

Here are a few photos from today's Blessing and Open House celebration.

Student Council President Micah greets US Senator Mazie Hirono.

Senator Hirono shared her commitment to ensuring that the needs of our military families are a priority for her as a member of the Senate Armed Forces Committee.   
LTC Kenneth Sanderson addressed the crowd and pledged the support from US Army Garrison Hawaii for this project.
Waiting to bless the building - Kahu Patterson from the US Army Garrison cultural office shared a pule (blessing) prior to the untying of the maile lei.
Untying the maile lei 

We had a nice crowd to participate in the program and celebration.  Micah was an awesome MC! 

Another view of those who attended today's celebration
Of course, any celebration also includes food! Thank you to our cafeteria staff and to S&M Sakamoto for providing delicious refreshments!

Saturday, October 4, 2014

October 3, 2014

This week, our project was featured in the Building Industry Association magazine! Here's a link to the article.  We are so fortunate to work with such a great team!

Next week is our Fall Break, and hopefully, there will be lots accomplished since there will be no students or teachers on campus. Workers started removing the structural beams for the walkway in front of the school.  Workers continue to dig the footprint for the library media resource and student support center. The building is going to be very spacious!

I will be on a trip for work next week.  One week away, and I'm sure there will be changes when I return. We are preparing for a Blessing and Open House on October 13. Not too many photos to share this week.

Earlier, workers had to excavate this huge concrete block. It was part of a data system that was no longer being used.  We are not sure how old this was, but it was amazing that the workers could dig out that concrete block in one piece!

We are discussing with US Army Garrison and the contractors on how to alleviate these kinds of puddles.  Let's hope we can get this problem resolved before the rainy season begins.

At one time, this area housed our office and the library.  Once the building is completed, we'll have a library that will be significantly larger and can be used more flexibly than the old one.  There will be a media resource center, offices for our Response to Intervention and Instructional Coaches, counselors, Tripler SMHT program, Student Services Coordinator, SBBH therapist, and several meeting rooms.  I'm sure the counselors and SBBH therapist are looking forward to having their own room after having 5 of them in one portable.

Enjoy Fall Break, everyone! I won't be at work next week, so no new photos will be posted.