On Wednesday, February 6th, North Smithfield Schools and the Rhode Island Island Department of Education met for the initial schematic design review for the new NSHS science labs and renovations.
Even though we submitted science lab concepts and designs as part of our Stage II Application to RIDE, and were fully approved, in Stage III of the project we had to significantly scale back our plans due to hard budget constraints. This in no way impacts our eligibility to receive a minimum 35% reimbursement on construction costs. It just means the final scope and cost of the project will be less than the full amount for which we were approved. This is however, a normal part of the Stage III cycle when designs and pricing firm up in preparation for going out to bid.
Our current science labs are located on the first floor of NSHS (pictured in white above). In our redesigned plans , the existing science labs on the horizontal, center section will be "cleaned up" with new paint, ceiling tiles, lighting, floors, and will benefit from some mechanical, plumbing, and electrical upgrades. The current science labs along the vertical, left hand wing, will no longer serve as science labs and instead will be retrofitted into updated and functional classroom space. The cross-hatched room at the top of the left hand wing will continue to function as a STEM lab. The cross-hatched room at the top of the right hand wing is a possible re-location for our 2D Art Studio.
It is on the second floor, directly above the existing science labs, that we are going to construct two new state of the art science labs. Not only have we designed these labs to accommodate the Biology, Physics, and Chemistry classes of today, but they easily adapt to any program of scientific inquiry demanded in the future. We chose this space because it offers the greatest amount of square footage with the least amount of construction. By stacking the labs above one another, we can consolidate mechanical, plumbing, and electrical systems and costs. This configuration basically offers us the most bang for the buck.
We are continuing with project development for the high school science labs and anticipate meeting all RIDE requirements for a final schematic design review. With the current project timetable we anticipate going out for bid the spring and begin demolition and construction this coming summer. Unfortunately work will continue into the autumn, however we are confident that with some creative scheduling and use of swing spaces, instruction will not be compromised. These new labs and refurbished spaces will be a tremendous resource to the NSHS students and a model showing what this fifty year old building is still capable of delivering.
Dear North Smithfield Parents and Guardians,
We are inviting you to lend us your voice on the SurveyWorks Survey.
With your responses to 44 questions, you can help us assess, plan, and prioritize:
We have sent an email to all families who have students attending North Smithfield Schools with the SurveyWorks website address and login information.
For those who have already taken the survey, we thank you very much. To everyone else, we thank you for your support and helping us to continuously improve our schools
Last year, NS Schools produced a Master Facilities and Education Plan in accordance with regulations from the Department of Education and successfully completed:
STAGE I – IDENTIFICATION OF NEED
STAGE II – DEVELOPMENT OF A SOLUTION
This year we are well into:
STAGE III - Design Review and Guidance
Our focus during STAGE III has been on the addition, and other improvements, to NSES as well as upgrading the High School Science Labs. We have had multiple design consultations with our construction managers (Gilbane) and architects (Studio Jaed) and teachers and staff exploring best practices, options, pricing, and ultimately developing the most cost effective, educationally appropriate design to present to the Rhode Island Department of Education for review and approval.
The designs must pass though a series of reviews and meet multiple criteria. I am pleased to announce that we are near final approval for the NSES addition plans.
The plans for NSES call for a four room addition and a bio-retention system to accommodate storm water runoff while nurturing a green space and garden which will be incorporated into outdoor classroom space.
With our NSES design phase and review nearing completion, we are still on track for construction beginning in March and completed by the end of the summer in time to accommodate students who would otherwise have gone to Halliwell for the fourth grade.
Upcoming is our preliminary design review with the Department of Education to review initial plans for the High School Science Lab component of Stage III. The review and approval will allow us to develop the necessary construction and design documents with a goal to have final review approval in time to begin renovations this coming summer.
North Smithfield School Department
P.O. Box 72
Slatersville, RI 02876
P: (401) 769-5492 F: (401) 769-5493
Michael St. Jean, Superintendent
North Smithfield Middle School - Room 137
1850 Providence Pike
North Smithfield, RI 02896