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ConVal gym renovations moving ahead.

  • ConVal gymnasium renovations<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Dave Anderson)

    ConVal gymnasium renovations

    (Staff photo by Dave Anderson)

  • ConVal gymnasium renovations<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Dave Anderson)

    ConVal gymnasium renovations

    (Staff photo by Dave Anderson)

  • With the floor gone, the main gym is serving as a staging area for construction equipment and items to be installed during the latter stages of the project.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Dave Anderson)

    With the floor gone, the main gym is serving as a staging area for construction equipment and items to be installed during the latter stages of the project.

    (Staff photo by Dave Anderson)

  • ConVal gymnasium renovations<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Dave Anderson)

    ConVal gymnasium renovations

    (Staff photo by Dave Anderson)

  • ConVal gymnasium renovations<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Dave Anderson)

    ConVal gymnasium renovations

    (Staff photo by Dave Anderson)

  • ConVal gymnasium renovations<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Dave Anderson)
  • ConVal gymnasium renovations<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Dave Anderson)
  • With the floor gone, the main gym is serving as a staging area for construction equipment and items to be installed during the latter stages of the project.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Dave Anderson)
  • ConVal gymnasium renovations<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Dave Anderson)
  • ConVal gymnasium renovations<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Dave Anderson)

PETERBOROUGH — Sparks fly as steelworkers install a grid to support new classrooms and hallways in the ConVal gymnasium wing. On the side of the gymnasium, where the basketball floor had been removed, rows of shower stalls stand in a line, waiting to go into new locker rooms. The walls of the additions where those locker rooms will go are rapidly rising, as masons and construction workers hustle to keep the $4 million renovation project on track.

The high school’s gymnasium wing has been closed all year, while workers renovate the interior. Except for the bleachers and backboards in the large gym and the flooring in the small gym, almost nothing is as it was when school let out in June. A grid of steel is going in to support a new access hallway that will lead directly from the main entrance of the building to a remodeled second floor on the gym wing. That floor will hold new classrooms and office space, locker rooms and an elevator and stairways in a new addition that will provide access to the gym level.

The addition will also include an entrance at the first floor level, directly off the parking lot. The side of the wing facing the lot has been stripped of siding, and new insulation and framing for windows in the new classrooms is in place.

“We’re right on schedule to complete this early in March,” said Tim Grossi, ConVal’s facilities manager, on Thursday. “Our contractors are doing a great job. They’re here every day and on Saturdays. They’ll be here on Christmas Eve.”

The $4 million project, which was approved by ConVal district voters in March, will bring the gymnasium wing into compliance with Americans with Disabilities Act and Title IX requirements. The new hallway and the elevator mean students with disabilities will no longer have to go outside in order to reach the gymnasium level. The renovations also include equally sized locker rooms for boys and girls and two team rooms.

This week, when school is not in session, power to the school will be cut off so electricians can replace the 40-year-old electrical switch gear that serves the entire building.

“The building will be without power all week. The contractors will be using generators,” Grossi said.

“A lot is happening simultaneously,” said Jim Traffie of Hutter Construction of New Ipswich, who is construction manager on the project. “We have about 40 people here every day — electricians, steel workers, masons.” He estimated that about 50 percent of the workers are local, including many from Apollo Steel of Jaffrey, the subcontractor doing the steel installation.

The gym floor has been completely torn up, and the gym itself serves for the moment as a staging area to hold materials. Grossi said the flooring, which isn’t usable but may have sentimental value, is in storage and up for grabs.

“We’ve been giving it away to anyone that asks,” he said.

Grossi said workers had to replace old water shut off equipment behind the gym wing and make some drainage improvements around the building, both items that weren’t part of the bid on the job. But those issues didn’t cause significant delays or additional cost.

“For the size of a project like this, we haven’t had much need to go into our contingency money,” Grossi said. “We’re in good shape as far as the budget goes.”

Dave Anderson can be reached at 924-7172, ext. 233 or danderson@ledgertranscript.com. He’s on Twitter at @DaveAndersonMLT.

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