The freshly-renovated Heath School should be ready to open in a matter of weeks--a decision which came the day before this school year started.
Project Manager for the Heath School project, Ray Masak explained to the Selectmen at last night's meeting that the Heath School should re-open by mid-October-- and that seating in the auditorium is going up from the planned 191 seats which had concerned parents earlier in the year.
Some Heath School parents considered raising $1.8 million privately to cover the cost of rebuilding the auditorium to get back to, or exceed, the original 225 seat capacity.
This seating decrease was caused by a decision to use spring-free chairs in the auditorium. The chairs would fold, but would not fold up automatically when students stood, this created a fire code violation--which was solved by taking out and widening some rows of seating.
“At that time, it was a budget decision. Although perhaps it was not the best budget decision,” explained Ray Masak, the project manager for the Heath School project. "Based on feedback from parents, it was unacceptable."
The new auditorium will ultimately have "closer to" the 225 seats of the pre-renovation building, and will go back to chairs with springs.
Masak added, “The place will look even better than it does now.”
See the plans presented at the Oct 7, 2011 meeting in the PDF to the right.
Selectman Ken Golstein said he has toured the Heath School, and that it is "coming out very nicely."
The most impressive room in the renovated Heath School, Goldstein said, was the multi-function room, which the school community has already been using, even before the building was opened.
“We will be dedicating it in a matter of weeks from now,” said Goldstein.
Masak had come before the board to request approval of two change orders for the school, both of which were unanimously approved.