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Lyme Central School construction project awaiting state Education Department approval

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CHAUMONT — The second phase of Lyme Central School District’s capital project is awaiting state Education Department approval before it can begin.

Michael J. Harris, an architect at Bernier, Carr & Associates, Watertown, said the plans have been submitted to the department but haven’t been reviewed yet. At a December board meeting, Mr. Harris said he anticipated the plans would be approved in May and construction could begin in August. At the board meeting Thursday, he said the earliest the department could review, and hopefully approve, the plans would be Aug. 4. In a handout given to members of the board and members of the audience, Mr. Harris wrote that if the plans are approved Aug. 4, a notice to bidders will be sent out the following day and the bid opening would be Aug. 21.

“We’ve put together this schedule in case they get back to us soon,” Mr. Harris said. “The project is relatively simple and we expect approval by Aug. 4.”

Lyme Superintendent Karen M. Donahue said district officials have been assured that once the plans have been approved, the preconstruction process and implementation should happen fairly quickly.

The plans call for installation of an air conditioning unit for the library, an upgraded entryway near the school’s parking lot, an umbrella Wi-Fi system and upgrades to various doors inside the building.

The canopy, which will be built at the side entrance of the school near the parking lot, will wrap around the corner of the building and shield the doors from the wind. The slanted roof will allow runoff to flow down a pipe through a pillar and empty into the school’s drainage system.

If all plans are approved and contracts awarded on time, the wireless Internet would be the first item to be installed. Mr. Harris said it could be installed before the beginning of the school year. He said the canopy and entrance would be completed in the fall, and installation of new doors and the library air conditioner could be done over spring break.

Mrs. Donahue said most of the construction wouldn’t affect day-to-day student life but district employees will have to block off the side entrance of the school during construction of the canopy and entrance.

“The students are usually picked up and dropped off at that entrance,” Mrs. Donahue said. She said during construction the entire side parking lot could be blocked off. Families will have to pick up and drop off the students at the front entrance.

The project will be funded with money left over from the project residents approved in 2012 to replace the rotting roof. Mr. Harris said officials believe all components of the project can be paid for using those funds.

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