ELLENBURG CORNERS — Last month, Northern Adirondack Central students returned from summer vacation to newly upgraded learning facilities.
After nearly four years in the works, the district recently celebrated the completion of its $29 million capital-improvement project, which included extensive renovations to the Middle/High School and Elementary School buildings, as well as technology, security and energy-efficiency improvements.
“It’s pretty impressive,” said NACS Superintendent Laura Marlow, who initiated the project, funded by an EXCEL grant, in 2009.
As a result, a heated walkway to the Middle/High School now prevents ice from forming and paves the way to the school’s new, grand entrance.
Once inside the facility’s first set of doors, people are met by the school’s main office and a second set of doors, which visitors must be buzzed through.
The added security of double doors has also been incorporated into the Elementary School, just as major offices and services in both buildings have been grouped together near the main entrances.
This makes services easier for parents to access, said NACS Business Executive Brain Tousignant, and prevents visitors from having to go deep into student-occupied areas.
“It just creates a little ease,” he said.
In addition, all main doors now require individuals to have swipe cards in order to gain entry; outside lighting and both indoor and outdoor security cameras have been installed on campus; and perimeter fencing now encloses the elementary playground.
In the past, Marlow noted, there was little separation in the secondary building between the Middle School and High School grades.
Now, however, a corridor separates the renovated High School portion of the facility from the recently added Middle School wing, which includes 10 new classrooms and a courtyard.
All Middle School and High School students have new lockers as a result of the project, and natural lighting has also been incorporated throughout the halls of the building, resulting in no shortage of windows.