April 14, 2024
Education | Northwest Herald


Renovations underway at Ringwood School Primary Center

RINGWOOD – Ringwood School Primary Center will have a new look when it opens for students in the upcoming school year.

Tom Schwartz, director of buildings and grounds for Johnsburg School District 12, said renovations began in early June for the school that houses pre-K students through second-graders.

The project is estimated to cost about $1 million. Initial renovations include installing new carpet as well as painting classrooms, offices and hallways.

“We have a really successful program where we hire our high school students for the summer to help with maintenance,” Schwartz said. “And what we’ve done is we’ve put together a painting crew of eight students from the high school.”

Schwartz said the district is replacing the building’s windows, doors and original 1961 boiler, in which two energy-efficient units will take its place.

The Ringwood school opened in 1961 with four classes. Four more classes were added in 1971 before other additions in 2000.

“Basically, three-quarters of the school as it sits today was an addition in 2000,” Schwartz said. “And when they did that work, they didn’t do a full renovation on the original areas, so they had things left out like the sprinklers. So we’re catching up to what we couldn’t afford back in 2000.”

Schwartz said fire sprinklers will be installed this summer in the original section of the school.

“It’s never had them,” Schwartz said. “So after this project is complete, the entire school will be covered by fire sprinklers.”

The technology department has upgraded the district’s internet infrastructure, replacing old equipment with new switches, cabling and Wi-Fi access points.

The technology department also has been modernizing the building’s security.

“We’ve got security cameras going in,” Schwartz said. “We’ve never had security cameras before at Ringwood.”

Technological enhancements will include new door access controls for security purposes, a new sound system in the gym and upgraded outdoor lighting to LED.

Other school improvements include new cabinets in the pre-K area for storage purposes, repair of the gas main on the roof, installation of new toilet partitions in the washrooms and repavement of a section of the parking lot.

“We’re also doing a major rooftop unit, [heating, ventilation and air conditioning] replacement,” Schwartz said. “So we’re replacing four large multizone units.”

Superintendent Dan Johnson said District 12 has been planning an extensive renovation project during the past few years.

“The benefit of these renovations is that we’re going to have lasting, excellent learning environments for our kids,” Johnson said. “We want to thank our community for supporting all these renovations. We look forward to the kids and staff seeing the updated, renovated facilities.”

The Ringwood school construction comes after District 12 renovated Johnsburg High School and the Johnsburg Elementary and Junior High campus, where third grade through eighth grade students attend. Both of those renovations were completed in August.

“Those renovations allowed us to close [James C.] Bush Elementary School, so the students there moved to the [elementary/junior high campus],” Schwartz said.

Schwartz said that what makes the project unique is that the Ringwood school construction is being completely managed by the school district.

“We are not hiring a construction manager or construction management firm to help us,” Schwartz said. “So all the coordination of activities are being done in-house.”

The Ringwood School Primary Center renovations are expected to be complete by early August before teachers return to start setting up their classrooms.