by Jessyca Cardinell
The Gouverneur Central School District has been undergoing many extensive upgrades and changes throughout the three phases of the Capital Project.
The first two phases included the transformation of the East Side into the newly renovated Gouverneur Elementary and the West Side into the upgraded Gouverneur Middle School.
The third and final phase of the Capital Project is in the works currently at Dean-Dolan building and the High School, located on Barney Street.
Bids for the project are currently out and will be opened on Friday, March 15 to give a better scope of the project and all that it will involve.
This phase will include the roof, window replacements, upgrades to technology infrastructure and security measures.
What is currently known as the Dean building will go through a demolition process which will provide an area for a handicap accessible entrance. There will be a new elevator available, this will provide access for the Dolan building as well as the high school.
The Village of Gouverneur years ago donated a stained glass window to honor the Dean family, this piece will continue on as it will be incorporated in the new entrance.
The District is working hard to ensure that as little impact is made on the students as possible during this part of the renovation. The Central Office Staff has been divided and relocated in two areas to help alleviate some confusion. The Gouverneur Middle School is now temporarily housing the Superintendent, Assistant Superintendent, Registration and CIO at the CSE offices. Across from the auditorium, the Business Offices have been placed in an empty classroom.
All of these temporary placements are to allow the construction crews to work along and complete their work in a timely manner.
“The goal will be to have central office relocated on the third floor of the Dolan building when all abatement, demolition and reconstruction is finished. In just the short period of time we have been located in the Access Center I already feel disconnected from my student and staff population. A superintendent should be available and accessible for her students and staff. I know March 1st, I had a student find me in the high school and indicate that she had been looking for me and it's just not the same. I couldn't agree more,” said Superintendent Mrs. Lauren French.
Mrs. French also stated, “I have asked everyone else in the District to be inconvenienced and relocate yet keep a happy demeanor, I shouldn't expect anything less from myself or my staff. What we are doing is for the instructional quality and physical safety of everyone, that will always be a priority. Our move is facilitate that process.”
As for the staff of building and grounds, headed by Harold Simmons, Mrs. French has been quite pleased with their efforts and work performance.
“Our staff is exemplary. They helped us on Saturday and the holiday Monday to get everything boxed, moved and reassembled,” she said. “I am so proud of this team and thankful they are part of our school family.”
While these changes can cause some inconveniences, they are assured to be temporary and in the end worth it as Gouverneur Central School District is in the final stages to being a completely renovated, updated and upgraded school system.