Here are some questions we’ve heard, and the best answers we have right now. We’ll update these as more information becomes available. If you have questions that aren’t answered here, please email us your question at SchoolCouncil@hardyschool.com.
Have you gotten any general questions yet? Nope! Feel free to ask some!
What exactly are we building? At the completion of the build, Hardy will have 6 new classrooms, two on each of thee three floors. One of the two first-floor rooms will be a new music room, and the other will be a fifth grade classroom. The plan for which grade levels will be in the other four classrooms is still TBD.
What will this all look like? Here are some plans and renderings of the design from the architects! (Q&A continues below)
When will this be happening? We anticipate that work will begin towards the end of April with site prep and enabling work (e.g. utilities). The project is scheduled to be completed by mid-December. Who will be doing the construction? E.A. Colangeli Construction has been selected as the contractor for this project, and we're currently in negotiations and discussions with them to finalize the contract, which we expect to finish by early April. Every on-site worker will be CORI checked before starting work.
What will happen to the Chandler St outdoor space during construction? The contractor will seek to minimize disruption, but significant parts of the Chandler St play area will need to be fenced off and used for construction staging. The smaller play structure will be removed as soon as construction begins, since that sits within the footprint of the addition. When the contractor has a finalized construction site diagram (with input from School Council and the architects), we’ll publish it here. How will the construction impact drop-off and pick-up? School administrators and staff will be able to update the drop-off and pick-up processes once the contractor has a finalized site diagram. All measures will be taken to prioritize safety, while maintaining current routines to the extent possible.
What will the Chandler St outdoor space look like after construction? Immediately after construction, the space will be restored to an approximation of its current state, with the blacktop resurfaced, some additional trees planted, etc. (See below for more details about that.) The proposed follow-on project to comprehensively review and redesign the Chandler St outdoor space would hopefully then begin at around this time (dependent on budget approvals and the May 2018 Town Meeting vote), with further changes expected in the summer of 2019. (See below for more details about that as well.)
What are the daily hours of construction? The construction hours will be 7 am to 3 pm, Monday - Friday.
What will happen while the MCAS is being administered? The architects and contractor will be given the schedule of MCAS testing dates. Any noisy or otherwise disruptive work will be minimized during this time.
What about noise at other times? In general, the contractors understand that this isn't just a work site, but an active school where our children are learning and growing. More specifically, the schedule of work is expected to concentrate the most noisy and disruptive portions of the project in the summer months.
How will the construction debris and other dangerous materials be managed to make sure students and teachers are not exposed to them? The demolition work is minimal, due to the fact that they are essentially building a separate building and connecting them. There is minimal asbestos around the windows, which will be carefully contained in full compliance with best practices and regulations.
Will a third party be brought in to test the air quality in the building after the construction is complete? While there is no current plan to use a third party to test air quality, the architects and owners project manager agreed to look into how this concern could be addressed. We'll continue to pursue this with them, and provide updates here.
Will the building be LEED certified? Not formally, but it is being built to all current Massachusetts standards, which are very close to LEED specifications.
Will any trees be impacted? The project necessitates the removal of four trees on the property during construction, and four new trees will be planted at the conclusion of the project, in accordance with Town of Arlington regulations. (See pics above.)
How will the neighbors be kept informed of the progress? The architect team will be distributing weekly flyers to abutters about the progress of the project, and any related announcements. The same information will be posted here on this web page.
Lake St playground
What's happening on the Lake St side of the building? We're transforming the open space on the Lake Street side of the school into a new playground! It will include an "ages 5 - 12" structure, but will be designed with a focus on the K - 1 kids, since the current kindergarten play structure (an "ages 2 - 5" structure) will be removed to accommodate the new classrooms.
When will this be happening? School Council has reviewed three proposals from vendors, and is continuing discussions with two of them. We expect to select a final vendor in early April, and order the structure by the end of April. Construction will begin after the end of the school year in June, and the playground should be ready for use before school starts in September.
Has the project been funded? The Capital Planning Committee has earmarked $200,000 in funds to build this playground. The current estimate is that $75,000 of this will be available to purchase a play structure, with the remainder for other work on the space.
Will any trees be removed? Nope! We expect the new structure to be between the two large trees in front of the school, with open space at each end for more active running-around sorts of play, and should be able to accommodate about 50 students (i.e. two class sections) at a time.
Who is involved? School Council has been involved in the planning phases of the work, including a teacher and parent survey to shape an initial concept and solicitation for proposals from three vendors. Ginna Reeder and Kristin DeFrancisco in particular have had several planning meetings with Patrick Goddard (Interim Facilities Director) and Jon Marshall (Arlington Recreation Department), and Steve Nesterak (new Facilities Director) will be involved as well. Finegold Alexander Architects will be the design team for this project, and we plan to have E.A. Colangeli Construction (the contractors for the classroom addition) do the site work.
I have ideas ! What do I do? We're pretty well on track at this point, but if you have questions or ideas, let us know!
Chandler St playground
What's happening on the Chandler St side of the building? Most immediately, see the Classroom Addition section above for more details about how the Chandler St playground will be affected by the construction. Beyond that, the proposal to fund a comprehensive review and plan for a redesign of the Chandler St outdoor space has been approved by the Community Preservation Committee! The next step is a vote on the proposal at the Town Meeting in May; if approved, the study and public input process will begin in September, and our goal would be for construction to take place over the summer of 2019.
How was the Hardy PTO Auction related to this? This year's Hardy Silent Auction was held on March 3rd, and raised $13,000 to benefit the Chandler St playground project! As part of the appeals to Town leaders to secure funding, parents made it clear that the Hardy community wants to make an investment in the Chandler St playground as well. This will be a relatively small percentage of the total project budget, but the community's commitment to a financial contribution has been an important part of showing Town leaders the depth of our interest.
I have ideas ! What do I do? As the project moves forward, the process will involve significant input from Hardy families and the greater community. We'll add more details here as things develop.