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Construction at Ogdensburg’s Kennedy Elementary to ramp up over summer

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OGDENSBURG — Construction has ramped up at Kennedy Elementary School as warmer weather has brought more favorable building conditions.

“It’s exciting to see the progress,” Principal Susan A. Jacobs said of the $19.1 million undertaking.

The building, 801-809 Park St., is receiving a large addition on the north side that will accommodate several hundred more students.

The shell of the addition is largely complete, with temporary electricity available, said Glenn Erb, an architect with the Bernier, Carr and Associates, Watertown.

“You’ll see the roof line change dramatically from a flat line roof to a bow string roof,” Mr. Erb said, pointing out that the new design will provide better drainage for the building.

As early as September, the Ogdensburg City School District expects to be able to use part of the new wing to house about 85 more students from Sherman Elementary School, 615 Franklin St., which is slated to close in June.

Lincoln Elementary School, 1515 Knox St., will close in June 2014, at which point Kennedy will swell from its current 450-student population to more than 700, Mrs. Jacobs said.

Part of the project will see the main entrance moved to the north side of the building, where an airlock security system will be installed to better protect students, Superintendent Timothy M. Vernsey said.

The main office will move to the north side to better regulate the flow of visitors, as anyone trying to enter the building during school hours will have to be buzzed in.

These changes will allow the school to move the student drop-off and pickup zone to the north side, while buses will continue dropping off students on the south side.

Mrs. Jacobs said separating the bus traffic from family vehicles will help ensure student safety.

Over the summer, construction will move inside to the cafeteria and band room.

The work at Kennedy Elementary is expected to be finished in late 2014.

It’s not just Kennedy that will see major construction in the district this summer; at Ogdensburg Free Academy, crews will begin working on the sports fields and the roof of the Golden Dome, Mr. Vernsey said.

Work also will be done on the libraries at OFA over the summer, he said.

The projects at Kennedy and OFA are part of a multiyear, $57 million districtwide renovation project.

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