NEW ROCHELLE, NY -- New Rochelle High School students found a spruced up main entrance welcoming them to school this week, while athletes played on a brand new field, watched over by a refurbished tower with working clocks.
The enhancements were among the projects in Phase II of the $106.5 million in construction work funded with bonds approved by voters in May 2016. At $46 million, it is the largest of the four phase process.
In a flurry of activity throughout the summer, construction crews completed much of the remaining work on the three schools included in Phase II - the high school, Isaac E. Young Middle School and Jefferson Elementary School - in time for the opening of school this week.
The high school entrance at 265 Clove Road includes granite treads and risers as well as plantings. The NRHS clock tower, now free of its scaffolding, sports touched-up brickwork, new flashing and two new gargoyles where broken ones had stood. Its top, like the rest of the pitched roof areas, is clad in new slate shingles. All four clocks were restored to working order.
"The school break allowed us to make substantial progress in completing the final items in Phase II," said Director of Facilities Carl Thurnau. "The schools opened on time, ready to operate efficiently as comfortable, attractive places of learning."
The brand new north field, for football practice and other sports, opened in time for school to begin. The south field, for softball and other sports, is expected to be completed by the end of October.
The school's indoor swimming pool is scheduled to re-open next week. Renovation of the track around McKenna Field has begun and is expected to be completed by October.
The stone exterior of Isaac E. Young Middle School is mostly done, with some work on the decorative cast stone elements remaining. Construction crews finished roofing work on the building last week.
The sports fields at IEYMS will take longer. Crews will cover the fields with sod during late fall. To allow the sod to knit a strong root system, the fields will not be used this year.
At Jefferson, crews restoring the exterior, including brick replacement and terra cotta restoration, have shifted to after-school hours to avoid interfering with classes. With much of the work done, Principal Kimmerly Nieves says the Art Deco building's appearance has been renewed.
"The school looks fantastic," she said. "It's beautiful."