Behind the scenes at Aidan Montessori School, much work has been going into preparing for the capital projects that will take place this summer. Here is a brief overview of upcoming projects:
Our elevator will be updated. You may or may not have noticed, but our elevator is in its original form from when the building was first built. It is functional and safe; it is maintained and inspected. It is also long overdue for an overhaul. The work that takes place this summer will include replacing the cab, updating the control panels and upgrading the mechanics of the elevator. Clearly, this is not the variable that will most greatly affect your child’s learning, but it is worth knowing about.
Our windows will be replaced. All of the windows in the building are also original, and they will be replaced, except for those on the ground floor (Upper Elementary and Toddler classrooms) as they were new construction when those spaces were built in the 2000s. These new windows will be high efficiency and will be adorned with new window treatments - so there will be a bit of pizzazz when the children return in September.
Our HVAC system will be upgraded. You may not have noticed, but the back wall of our school is adorned with eighteen (18) air-conditioning units, with piping emanating from them up and into the wall. In addition to making that wall more aesthetically pleasing, the central air-conditioning system that will replace these boxes will be more efficient, locally controllable, and include an air circulation system.
Again, these are things that have minor effects on your children’s classroom experience, but they require a significant amount of behind-the-scenes work. In the background, the Board of Trustees, the Buildings and Grounds Committee, and the Administration have been fielding bids, working with a general contractor and an architect, initiating permits, coordinating budgets, working with lawyers and insurers, and much more. I wish the visual impact in September would be greater than it likely will be, but knowing that these improvements have been made should give us all peace of mind. We will reduce our carbon footprint, and the environment will be better for all.
Relatedly, you will have received an email notice about asbestos removal taking place at the school over spring break. Please know that it is common for many buildings in the district to have asbestos, and this is okay as long as the asbestos is contained and monitored. In our case, the contained asbestos insulation in the elevator shaft will be removed ahead of the upgrade so that these two projects may be performed separately. The asbestos will be removed by licensed professionals who specialize in its removal, and their process includes active air monitoring to make sure that the school is left in a good condition upon completion.
As you likely know by now, we will not have summer camp on campus this year. Mr. Katinas will be running an alternative “traveling” summer camp (Aidan Explorers). I am as excited to see how this program goes as I am to see summer camp return to campus in 2021.
Over the summer, those of us who remain on duty (the Administration) will be relocated to “The Annex.” This is the building in which our Business and Communications offices are located - just around the corner, on the third and fourth floors of 2627 Connecticut Avenue NW. We are working on a communication plan for the summer and will report out to the community once we iron out the kinks.
Needless to say, none of this work would be possible without two things: 1) The generosity of community members who have given to the School over the years, especially during the celebration of the School’s 50th anniversary; and, 2) The careful financial stewardship of the School by the Board of Trustees, who saw in these projects the potential to invest back into the school at a considerable financial level for all the right reasons.
Thank you for your ongoing support of our school as the interruptions lead to a better environment for all.
If you have any questions about this summer's projects, please feel free to contact me.