Over the past year the Columbia School District has been diligently working on the renovation of our school buildings and campus grounds. The renovation projects have been focused on ensuring our students have an educational learning environment that is Safe, Warm, Dry and Smart.
"Safe" refers to a safe and secure learning environment for students, staff and community with many updated areas to meet current code requirements. Planned safety upgrades will include secure entries at each building, doors that will properly lock and do not need to be chained shut, drop off and pickup traffic patterns that separate parent and bus traffic to ensure the safety of students and staff, security cameras that are installed to increase security and facilities upgrades to meet the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
"Warm" refers to creating a more energy efficient learning environment for our children so more money may be spent on educational needs and the installation of items that will convert operational dollar savings into educational funds. To create the energy efficient learning environment, the 1950's and 60's era boilers will be replaced with new energy-efficient heating and cooling systems, increase the R value of our buildings by installing additional insulation and new roofs, and install new windows and doors with energy-efficient glass and insulation.
"Dry" encompasses facilities that are easy to maintain, reflect a positive image and enhance community spirit and update facilities to attract students, parents, staff and community members so the Columbia School District may grow. To create a dry environment for our students the 40 plus year old roofs will be replaced with highly insulated roofing systems, the 40 to 60 year old original leaking piping systems will be replaced, and install heating systems without water leaking into the duct work.
"Smart" includes a strong educational technology infrastructure that supports current technology needs and allows for future technology growth. This element includes the expansion of wireless technology infrastructure, the addition of classroom computers for students and staff, and the provision of 21st Century job skill development tools.
So far the project has included the completion of new roofs at all buildings, the parking and drives at Columbia Elementary and the renovation of Columbia Central Junior High area, including the updating of the district administration offices. The completion of the Junior High area allowed
student grade distribution to be updated to enable Columbia to feature an early elementary building for prekindergarten through second grade students, an upper elementary building especially for third through sixth graders, and the dedicated junior high wing at Columbia Central.
This spring the construction workers have focused on renovating the former third and fourth grade wing at the early elementary building, the south side of the north wing at the upper elementary building, work in the band, choir, psychology rooms and former counseling office area at Columbia Central, and the building of new locker rooms for the seventh and eighth grade students at the south end of the gymnasium complex at Columbia Central. Photos of the renovations are available on our Columbia School District Facebook page or the Restore the Soar Facebook page.
This summer you will notice many projects under way on our Columbia School District campuses in order to provide an excellent positive learning environment for our students. In order to complete our projects the district will move classroom furnishings out of our buildings and into storage trailers for the summer. In August, we will move back into the completed buildings. This is an exciting time to be part of the Columbia School District Family! Our students, teachers and administrators are very thankful for the generosity of our wonderful community! If you are interested in learning more about Columbia Schools, our programs and our extensive renovations, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 5175926641.