Council Rock looking to wake up Holland Elementary
COUNCIi ROCh - Students and teachers are not the only ones getting work done at Holland Elementary School these days.
The school is in the middle of a massive renovation project that will bring it more up to environmental speed, improve most of the classrooms, modernize its security, add a gymnasium and generally make it a nicer place to go to school, said Doug Taylor, the Council Rock School District’s Supervisor of Operational Services.
“The building was tired,” Taylor said. “It’s a well-maintained building, but everything wears out.”
A tour of the building revealed the odd combination of a construction site and a legitimate learning environment. Workers were busy turning old classrooms into new classrooms, replacing the old water heating system with individual, Insta-hot under-the-sink systems and generally turning the place upside down.
“We put a lot of thought into being green,” said Andy Sanko, principal at the school since 200T. “These are huge steps for us.”
Sanko’s – and the district’s – vision of a more environmentally friendly school building includes a comprehensive recycling plan for all materials used in or thrown away as part of the project, a wireless master clock system that reduces power used in the facility and a new lighting system that takes full advantage of as much natural light as possible, Taylor said.
Both Taylor and Sanko hope the projHFW, wKLFK VWDUWHD ODVW 0DUFK LV finLVKHD by September, but said it might not be un- til October. Either way, those used to the way Holland Elementary School used to look may not recognize the place when the 2013 – 2014 school year kicks off.
For example, parents looking to pick up their children in the school’s old bus lane had better not attempt to use it. A brand new reception area and the nurse’s new offiFH, DmRnG RWKHU WKLnGV, nRw UHVLDH WKHUH. Sanko pointed proudly to the school’s original cornerstone, which is now an inside wall.
Indeed, pride was a common theme for Sanko as he showed off his new building, including a lighting system that adjusts itself depending on the amount of natural light spilling through the windows. The more light that shines in, the more the interior lights dim.
“It reduces the output of light to adjust for the natural light,” Taylor explained. “It’s good for the environment and it’s cost effective, too.”
He boastfully pointed to more than a few panels on the upper walls of the new gymnasium, which help limit the sound that escapes during gym class or other events. The gym also has translucent panels near the ceiling, which will limit the amount of UV rays coming through.
Each classroom is now equipped with a wireless audio-enhancement system. The ROD RIfiFH wLOO VRRn IHDWuUH WwR, EUDnDnew computer labs and a new library. The gymnasium is already in use, or at least half of it is. For the time being, the room is broken into two by a long, blue curtain, with the cafeteria on the other side – for now. Come September (or October) everything will be in place, and it will all be new.
Holland Elementary School Principal Andy Sanko, left, and Council Rock School District’s Supervisor of Operational Services Doug Taylor, show off the school’s new entrance foyer.
Jeff Johnsonís sixth-grade gym class plays in the school’s new gymnasium, which will soon include a new wood floor.
Holland Elementary School Humanities teacher Amy Smith demonstrates her new white board in a rebuilt classroom.
Holland Elementary School first graders walk down a newly constructed hallway at the school.