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Community Celebrates Completion of Middle School Renovations

Superintendent Dr. Robert Feirsen called the middle school extension as functional as it is beautiful.

Ribbon cutting ceremony for Garden City middle school's $7.6 million gymnasium addition and classroom renovations.Photo by Peter Wilk/Wilk Marketing Communications
Ribbon cutting ceremony for Garden City middle school's $7.6 million gymnasium addition and classroom renovations.Photo by Peter Wilk/Wilk Marketing Communications
Dr. Robert Feirsen, superintendent of schools, opened the Garden City Middle School ribbon cutting ceremony Wednesday by heralding all those involved in the Herculean task.

As community leaders, Board of Education (BOE) members, representatives from BBS Architects, Landscape Architects & Engineers (BBS) and parents looked on Dr. Feirsen cut the ribbon for the newly completed $7.6 million gymnasium addition and classroom renovations project.

Dr. Feirsen also thanked the community for supporting the idea of improving the district’s athletic and educational facilities. He noted what a complex job the entire project posed and praised BBS’s vision and the workers who were on-site every day for their fine craftsmanship.

He called the extension as functional as it is beautiful. He also praised the BOE for their courage to pursue an expansion project during difficult economic times, lauding the kids deserved better and the BOE supported that.

“We were landlocked in many ways and there were many conditions associated with the renovations,” added Feirsen. “The project team of BBS and construction manager T.G. Nickel has created an outstanding new gymnasium, entrance lobby, and classrooms, which will serve our students for years to come.”

“The project includes a new 13,700 square foot gymnasium, fitness room and locker room addition that also houses a new entrance rotunda lobby; three new classrooms; and new bus and parent drop-off and pick-up loops,” explained BBS president and lead architect Roger P. Smith, AIA, LEED AP. “Concentrating the athletic facilities in one area increased student safety, reduced the traffic in hallways and improved the interior’s layout efficiency.”

Dr. Peter Osroff, principal, cited how the new construction has eliminated congestion. “The new boys’ and girls’ locker rooms and gymnasium are state-of-the-art,” he said. “The new physical education lobby area is a beautiful addition to our school. Our new high efficiency lighting and boilers will provide a safer, more comfortable school environment and produce significant savings to the taxpayers as well.”

Parent Lisa Coors was also impressed with the new facility and the choir, who performed for attendees in the new rotunda area.

The original middle school building was constructed in the early 1900s with additions built in the 1930s and 1940s.  

“The structure’s layout presented several operational challenges,” said Osroff.  “The main and secondary gyms were separated by a long hallway and the locker rooms were located in the basement, which caused safety concerns and forced the students to walk a significant distance to the gymnasiums."

The middle school project, along with other recent renovations throughout the district, was financed through a $36.5-million construction bond.

The new gym features oak flooring, basketball hoops and high bay lighting fixtures. The former gym was converted into three new classrooms totaling 2,500 square feet. A part of the pre-existing building was converted into a new, visually striking lobby crowned by a 44-foot-diameter rotunda. The lobby features stained, polished concrete flooring in the school’s colors, maroon and gray.



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