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School Summer Projects Moving Ahead on Time

Passersby can see big trucks during reconstruction of part of original structure at century-old Liberty Corner School.

Summer repair and renovation projects at five of Bernards Township's six schools are "okay on timeline" as far as being finished in time for school to start, said Schools Superintendent Nick Markarian.

The $606,000 worth of projects, paid for by funds set aside in the 2012-13 school budget, began after plans for the work were approved by the  in late June.

One of the most visible projects underway now is at the where Markarian said an outside contractor is repairing wood that had deteriorated at the soffit and fascia of the roof line of the original structure, built just over 100 years ago.

Some of the design work for some of it was provided by the township, he said. The contractor also is working on the handicapped access ramp to the school cafeteria, he said.

The school district is not borrowing any money to perform the work, Markarian said earlier this summer.

Approved and planned projects for this summer also include the replacement of the handicapped access ramp also to the gym at Liberty Corner School. Earlier this summer, the township was assisting with work to shore up retaining walls behind the school off Church Street.

Other work on the drawing boards for summer:

Floor replacement in cafeteria, repairs to canopy over front sidewalks at school off Peachtree Road.

Replace carpet with tile in several rooms, repairs to old front entrance repairs (paint, stairs and handrails); spot maintenance to pointing on old building, minor brick repairs, cupola replacement on old building off West Oak Street.

One interior wall added to create another office in the guidance suite (for a secretary that was moved to that location) at campus off South Finley Avenue.

Maintenance work in the auditorium includes new carpet and paint floor; some replacement lockers in the 400 wing.

During budget discussions earlier this spring, a number board members, including William Koch, who heads the board's facilities committee, have said that schools have many maintenance and repairs issues that have not been addressed in a long time. While some projects can be put off and funded in future years, other tasks require more immediate attention, according to Koch and other board members.

The Township Committee and Board of Education members also agreed that the township would provide assistance, particularly with planning, for school projects where possible in the overall interest of keeping costs down.

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