October 2010

October 18th 2010

Dear Parents, Teachers, Staff, and Students:

          Welcome back. I hope you have all had a fabulous Fall Break and enjoyed the cool weather. During the week off for the school a tremendous effort was put in by Barnhill Construction and the rest of our extended building team in order to prepare the new classroom building for occupancy. I am very pleased to announce that the new classroom building is officially open and our upper elementary and middle school students will be in their new classrooms effective today!!

          Over the last week we received the required electrical, plumbing, mechanical, structural and fire safety sign-offs by the Town of Morrisville. As mentioned in my last update since completion of the Sport Court will be after that of the classroom building, and the original permits were combined for both structures, we were able to gain a “conditional certificate of occupancy” for the classroom building prior to the sport court so that we could move into the building immediately. You will notice that there is still some work being completed in and around the classroom building. That is to address the standard punch list items identified prior to move-in and will be completed during non-classroom hours as much as possible to minimize interruptions.

          On Thursday last week we had professional movers spend the day working with the teachers to carefully pack and transport classroom materials and furniture to their new locations. My sincere thanks to the teachers and staff who helped with this move and took time during the Fall Break to set up their classrooms in preparation for the return of the students.

          Please be aware that roadway improvements are still in progress on Town Hall Drive so we are unable to utilize the new parking lot until that is complete. We are hopefully however that this work will be completed in the next few weeks and we will gain the required approval from the Town of Morrisville. In the meantime please continue to utilize the existing parking lots, pay close attention to the traffic patterns, and heed caution to the children walking around as they get used to their new classroom locations.

          After a brief pause on the construction of the Sport Court due to the cracking of the concrete piers (detailed in the last building update), the team including structural engineers Stroud, Pence & Associates have completed due diligence to remediate the construction issue and prepared a plan for completion. The inspections confirmed that the site itself is faultless and the design of the structure is sound. The piers have been re-inspected by Stroud Pence and the new concrete re-poured. New cast-iron anchor rods will be provided and the glulam structure will be erected after concrete inspection has confirmed required compressive strength. Stroud Pence will remain on site inspecting every step of the construction process. The Sport Court will be completed exactly to design and meet all structural standards as we originally planned.

           I personally walked the site and the new classroom building again this weekend and as I did I could not help but contemplate the importance of the new classroom building for Sterling Montessori. We will no longer have any classrooms in the trailers which will be taken off campus later this year. Removal of the trailers and the site improvements completed this summer allow the school to finally meet some very overdue commitments to the Town of Morrisville. Our planning and actions to improve the traffic and the safety issues allow us to now build a much stronger partnership with the Town of Morrisville and the community. We now have a middle school building that can comfortably accommodate our growing 7th and 8th grade population. The introduction of middle school classrooms equipped for a richer science and math curriculum allows us to improve on our academic preparation of our students to excel in high school. The revision and upgrade of our technology infrastructure including new fiber connections between buildings, the introduction of a technology server room with new switches, and dedicated storage for wireless computing carts for our students increases our technology capability and the opportunities for our students.

          I encourage you to take the time and share in the excitement with your children as they enjoy their new classrooms (both in the new building as well as the ones that have relocated from the trailers). It is with our collective efforts that we can take Sterling Montessori to new heights as outlined in our Strategic Plan. You can also visit our school website and check out the photo gallery that captures the campus expansion progress at https://www.sterlingmontessori.org/?p=971

        Sharmila Bristol
        President, LHU Board