Coun­cil Rock look­ing to wake up Hol­land Ele­men­tary

The Advance of Bucks County - - NEWTOWN AREA - By Cary Beavers

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.

Pho­to­graphs by Cary Beavers

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.

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