Edgewater Park reaches final stretch of summer construction projects

by Kelly Kultys, Staff Writer on August 7, 2017

EDGEWATER PARK — The district is wrapping up the final phase of its over $16 million referendum project, with a goal of finishing the majority of the work by the time school starts in September.

"It's really exciting to see things take shape," Superintendent Roy Rakszawski said as he walked through the Mildred Magowan Elementary School last week. Most of the construction is on track to finish by the start of school, which was delayed to Sept. 11 to give the contractors a few extra days. "All of the classrooms are going to be ready," Rakszawski said.

Edgewater Park nears completion of summer projects

"The work is the second half of the construction funded by the $16.1 million bond referendum passed by voters in January 2016 and designed by Garrison Architects of Bellmawr.

The district has already completed roof work and concrete paving at the Magowan and Samuel M. Ridgway Middle schools. The Magowan playground was resurfaced and is a big hit with the students, Rakszawski said.

This summer, New Road Construction Co., of Cherry Hill, has been working with its contractors to replace the heating, ventilation, electrical wiring and boilers at the schools, as well as add air conditioning to the wings at Magowan that did not have it, Business Administrator Nancy Lane said Tuesday.

The other major work was improving the schools' security systems, including adding vestibules at both entrances and changing the door knobs so classrooms can be locked from the inside. Some classrooms and offices were modified, and a conference room was built in the front of the middle school. An elevator was also installed at the Ridgway school.

Some of the work will carry into the school year, hopefully with minimal disturbance, the superintendent said. For example, the boilers will be installed last since heat probably will not be needed until October at the earliest, Lane said.

Some parts of the buildings are more complete than others. Ceiling tiles were being put back Tuesday in many of the hallways. Contractors were also working to fill one of the old entrances to the cafeteria at the Magowan school, as it had to be moved for the new security vestibule.

Magowan Principal Betsy Miles, who has been working out of a temporary office for the summer, was excited for the students and staff to get back to an upgraded building. "It will be wonderful to have an environment that is conducive to learning and that will match the needs of the students," Miles said.

She is especially looking forward to having air conditioning for the first time in a wing of the school that houses some of the first- and second-graders. Many of them have allergies and asthma that only got worse in the heat, Miles said.

Rakszawski said the district will be ready for the return of students in staff in just over a month. "(The contractors) are really pushing to make sure," he said.


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