ALLEGANY — The view of the front of Allegany-Limestone High School reveals a quiet, summertime campus with just a few cars parked in front.
The back of the building presents an entirely different picture, however, with numerous large construction trucks along with 60 or more workers preparing the cleared field for new baseball, softball, soccer and physical education fields for completion this coming spring.
The bottom floor of the building — comprised of locker rooms, bathrooms, the physical education department and the inside concession area — is also undergoing complete renovation as part of the $16.1 million capital project at the middle/high school and elementary campus.
Lead contractor for the project is Campus Construction Management Group, which operates under the direction of Doug Cloud, field manager, and Carl Calarco, project manager. Clark Patterson Lee Architectural and Engineering Firm designed for the project.
On Monday, Superintendent Tony Giannicchi toured the inside and outside work sites with Cloud and Calarco, who said the project is on schedule despite poor weather experienced in the spring.
“We struggled, field-wise, in the beginning of the year,” Cloud admitted. “We got our share of rain, that’s for sure, but things are progressing very well. We did get started in the middle of April, but because of the rains, we lost most of May.”
Calarco added, “We never intended for the field to be ready this fall — the field was scheduled to be ready in the spring of 2020” for the baseball and softball seasons, as well as the soccer season in the fall of 2020.
The fields, which will have large, underground drainage systems, will be covered with synthetic turf, which is expected to provide drier playing conditions. The track will be refurbished through cleaning and fresh paint next summer. Also on tap for next summer will be the construction of a new tennis court and basketball court near the administration offices.
Calarco noted St. George Enterprises of Fredonia, which had provided the site work for the high school campus when it was built in 1999, is also doing the site work for the current project.
As for the inside work at the high school, he said students and staff will notice new drinking fountains with bottle fillers, window treatments and new doors.
He said the locker room work was begun in April to provide a head-start for the project and ensure that area would be completed by the start of this school year.
Giannicchi noted two new consolidated locker rooms for boys’ and girls’ sports and physical education are being constructed, as well as two new boys’ and girls’ locker rooms for the pool.
“The locker rooms actually lead out to the fields,” Ginnicchi explained. “We can have the kids out early (in the season for gym or sports) we can have them out in the fresh air, you won’t be waiting for the grass to dry or for the snow to get off there.”
Calarco said a new concession stand in the back area of the school is also under construction.
“We’re taking some of the space that was used for the locker room and turning it into a concession stand and public restrooms that can be accessed directly from the field,” he commented.
In addition, a handicapped-accessible sidewalk will circle the fields, which will also visitors to safely traverse to all fields. The looped, concrete sidewalk will also be stamped with Gator prints, from the school’s mascot. In addition, new scoreboards on the field are state-of-the-art.
Calarco said key points important to note are that the main office at the high school will be refurbished and enhanced next year, with the new point of entry accessed through the current middle school entrance. In addition, the elementary school’s main office will be upgraded with enhanced security and is expected to be completed at the start of this school year.
Both the middle/high school and elementary school will also be upgraded with new roof coatings, and new surfaces in some areas, this summer.
A number of other projects will take place next summer, with the entire project expected to be completed in the fall of 2020.
Giannicchi said security updates will be funded through a $1.2 million SMART Schools Bond. In addition, funding for the entire project is provided by state building aid funds and district capital reserve funds.
Looking out over the back field, Giannicchi said, “The girls’ soccer team had a playoff in Williamsville, and their facilities were top-notch. I think we’ll be pretty comparable, if not beyond, what Williamsville offers. If you’re a parent coming from another school, the experience should be positive for everybody coming here” inside and out.