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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.