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UPGRADES NOW FOCUSED AT THE HIGH SCHOOL
For all of the improvements seen from the outside, even more upgrades are happening inside Ramsey schools.
Ramsey recently completed renovations in the High School’s Wood Shop, gym locker rooms, and auditorium restrooms. Work to replace boilers at the school is nearing the finish line. An impressive number of people attended the Sept. 8 ceremonial ribbon-cutting of the RHS Wellness Center and tours of other new instructional spaces.
From the outside, it’s easy to see that the High School’s Prospect Street parking lot benefited from resurfacing and efforts to improve drainage. It was reconfigured for improved safety and traffic flow. The redesign will eventually encompass a plaza that links to the concessions area and the grandstands, with new storage built underneath them; work there will start in the spring.
“We have found ways around supply chain issues,” Business Administrator Tom O’Hern said. The district pushed back against the common contractor practice of waiting partway through a project to order big-cost equipment. Instead, bids included a stipulation that contractors ordered those items immediately. As a result, inventory woes have not slowed Ramsey’s progress.
Much of the construction can be attributed to the bond funding that voters approved in 2018. It is almost complete at the elementary schools and Smith Middle School. At RHS, the pandemic impacted the schedule as the school used all available areas to accommodate social distancing.
Next to be completed are the new band and choir rooms, which are about one third complete. The older space, which was once a cafeteria, was gutted and expanded. Once finished, that suite will include the space necessary to fit the thriving RHS music program, with individual practice rooms and proper acoustic features.
In June, work should begin to turn the traditional Media Center into a Learning Commons. More than a name change, it will mark a shift from quiet, solo study to interactive collaboration and creation. Students can expect to use the more open, tech-focused Learning Commons in late 2023.
Now that window replacements are complete, contractors will add security film to lower-level windows at all five Ramsey schools. That project will start over this winter and finish in the spring. It should not cause displacement of any classes.
To get a look at other building progress, visit ramsey.k12.nj.us and click Quick links > Bond Referendum > Latest Pictures.