More than a year has passed since the Pelham Union Free School District purchased a house next to Colonial School on Pelhamdale Avenue. Following a special voter referendum, the house was bought with reserve funds with the purpose of providing new office space for the district because administrative offices were needed in the high school for classrooms due to higher student enrollment.
Initially, the house was supposed to be ready for use by the end of the summer in 2019, but work on the house was delayed in hopes of getting a better price for the renovations. Work resumed in the spring of 2020, and all offices in the high school were set to be vacated by July of this year, but the transfer to the new house has been met with further delays due to Covid-19.
Renovations on the house are now scheduled to be complete sometime in the fall of 2020. However, because of anticipated increased costs and delays due to social distancing requirements, the district does not plan to start interior renovations on the current high school office spaces until the spring of 2021. Consequently, even when renovations on the house are completed in the fall, district staff will not occupy the space until renovations begin in the high school. In the meantime, the house will continue to serve as additional outdoor space for the kids at Colonial.
“When the renovation projects are complete we are very much looking forward to having flexible classroom space that will enable greater collaboration and personalization for classes and teachers,” said Superintendent Dr. Cheryl Champ.
Work on the house this summer has been a tedious process as Covid-19 restrictions slowly loosened. Much of the work involved making the house compatible with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA); currently, the front porch, sidewalk, and main entrance are all ADA accessible. Going into the fall, the district’s facilities teams are looking to upgrade the HVAC and electrical systems, alongside other miscellaneous interior renovations. While the district certainly wants to finalize construction on the house, it is important to note that currently the facilities teams are focusing on prepping school buildings to be ready to open safely in the fall. The district anticipates that the new classroom space will be completed and ready for student use some time during the 2021-2022 school year.