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$23M Addison School Project Hits the Home Stretch

$23M Addison School Project Hits the Home Stretch

 By Derrick Ek, The Corning Leader


The Addison school district’s $23 million capital project is in the home stretch, with the final major piece still under construction - a new gymnasium - expected to be finished by December, and possibly sooner. The project includes a new middle school wing, a new high school gymnasium, a revamped athletic complex and major infrastructure work a Tuscarora Elementary School.


“Aside from the new gym, the project is about 90 percent done,” Addison Superintendent Joe DioGuardi said during a construction tour Wednesday with The Leader.


The two-story, eight-classroom middle school wing is open and being used this fall, although it still needs a few finishing touches: the new lockers for the hallways haven’t been delivered yet, for example.


There are a handful of classrooms, equipped with the latest technology and new furniture. There’s also an art room, a STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) lab and a CAD (computer-aided design) lab. The technology-rich STEM lab and the CAD lab are next to each other and interconnected, and used for courses such as engineering and robotics. Still packed up in the box is a 3D printer that can produce three-dimensional models of the things students design on computers.


Dan Moltion, a technology teacher, called the new labs - which are used by both middle school and high school students - “a big game-changer” that will allow for an expanded curriculum. “The kids see all this new stuff, and they want to know what they can do with it,” Moltion said.


The new wing brings all middle school students under one roof for the first time, with the sixth-graders moving over from Tuscarora Elementary this year. Adjacent to the new wing - and still a beehive of construction work - is an impressive new gymnasium that will be the venue for basketball, volleyball and wrestling. There’s a new fitness center and new locker rooms attached to the gym. Opaque windows tower over the front side of the gym, and will feature a large image of the Knights’ logo. A lobby at the main entrance will have a display with photos and stories of Addison’s history, DioGuardi said. The new gym should be ready to host home games during the winter sports season, he added.


The district’s outdoor athletic complex at nearby Cleveland Drive has been completely revamped. The centerpiece - already open for play - is the soccer field, which is circled by a new eight-lane rubberized running track. There’s also new lighting, bleachers and press box, and a renovated concession stand. Nearby, the Knights’ existing varsity baseball and softball fields have new sod in the outfield, a new infield mix, new dugouts and fencing. A new baseball and a new softball field were added, along with two other soccer fields. More tennis courts have been built, and a new cross country trail runs through the woods nearby.


“There was a lot of work involved with the drainage system for the fields, because we’re in a floodplain,” said Mike Sable, field manager for Rochester-based Campus Construction, the construction management firm for Addison’s capital project. “There should be significant improvement in the playing conditions.”


The improvements to the athletics complex will allow the Knights to host Section V playoff games in all sports, which had never been possible before because they weren’t regulation.


A wide array of infrastructure work was done at the aging Tuscarora Elementary, including sidewalk repairs, new parking areas, new windows, and a new facade that features Addison’s maroon school color. Interior work included a new electrical system, fire alarms, phone system, LED lighting, improved security, ventilation work to improve air quality and asbestos removal. There’s still work left to be done at Tuscarora Elementary, including a new library, cafeteria and gymnasium, DioGuardi said. That will be the last phase of a major facilities overhaul, and planning will likely begin this spring, he said.


A $28 million renovation of the high school was done before the current facilities project, which was approved by voters in December 2012 and broke ground in June 2014.


“We didn’t do anything with our facilities for a long time, while a lot of other districts in the area were renovating their buildings,” DioGuardi said. “So now we’re kind of playing catch up.”


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