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OESJ gym update

POSTED 8/1/2013
OESJ gym work progressing; painting approved
The Oppenheim-Ephratah-St. Johnsville Board of Education has approved spending up to $25,000 to complete outstanding work in the OESJ High School gymnasium. 

Renovations to the OESJ High School gymnasium are currently underway and include the installation of a new floor and modern composite bleachers. 

The gym project is part of a $1.5 million bond referendum approved by St. Johnsville voters in 2011. Following the approval of the Oppenheim-Ephratah-St. Johnsville merger in December 2012, the district was able to change the floor and bleacher specifications to match the red, black and gray color scheme students selected for the new merged district this winter. However, painting the walls – which are currently purple, gold and beige – was never part of the original gym project.

District officials had hoped to paint the walls with the contingency money already built into the original $1.5 million project. Those plans fell through when the old floor was removed and problems were discovered with the concrete subfloor, which was installed in 1961. Correcting high spots on the concrete floor took extra money and time. As a result of the project schedule and contractor availability, painters now won’t be able to paint the walls until after the floor is installed. 

Wednesday, July 31, the OESJ Board of Education approved the necessary funding to paint the gym walls. Architects say the painting project could cost between $20,000 and $25,000, which includes provisions to protect the new floor while the walls are being painted. 

The floor and bleachers are expected to be completed before the start of school. Painting, architects say, may extend into the school year. 

“The gym project will be completed soon and once its finished we’ll have a facility our students, staff and community will be proud of,” OESJ Superintendent Laura Lawrence said. 

Lawrence said while the district will be making sure to update the colors and signage throughout the district, other facility needs, such as building security, need to be addressed as well.

“As a result of the merger, the district is eligible to receive 98 percent state reimbursement for approved renovation projects,” Lawrence said. “We’ll be reviewing all our buildings and should be able to address all our facility needs with little or no impact to the local taxpayer.”