The home stretch of the Lyseth Elementary School project has been the proverbial sprint at the end of a marathon! Entering the final phases of construction is always an exciting time, but especially when it means that kids will have a beautiful new space for learning. Hardypond has been working hard on the renovation and expansion of Lyseth Elementary School since breaking ground in 2019. Working through winters and summers to accommodate the school schedule, Hardypond has been creating inspiring new spaces for Lyseth students, teachers, and staff. The last pieces of the puzzle fell into place with the completion of the Kindergarten Wing and finishing touches in the classrooms, as well as the update of the vast network of mechanical and electrical systems in the school. Hardypond delivered the brightly updated Lyseth back to its students and teachers in time for the start of the 2021 school year!
An important update for the Kindergarten Wing was adding bathrooms in every classroom, including four kindergarten rooms and one Pre-K room. Having this accessibility makes it easier for teachers as well as the students, who are often new to a school environment. Hardypond dug new water and sewer trenches to make it happen. One of the challenges that often arises when renovating old buildings is that there is not always accurate information on where things, like sewer lines, were originally built. While this meant the Hardypond crew often had to dig an extra 6’ to avoid surprises, the schedule had been planned so there was plenty of time to get the new lines trenched and a new cement slab poured. Beyond bathrooms, all the classrooms in the Kindergarten Wing were updated with new ceiling tiles, floors, and whiteboards, as well as new sprinklers and mechanical systems. With their fresh facelift, the classrooms are looking pretty and ready for learning fun!
A favorite addition for many students in the Kindergarten Wing is the cheerful hallway nook. The design feature brought some interest to an otherwise blank wall, and now serves as a gathering area for students as well. Another exciting design element that creates both visual interest and educational opportunities is the bank of windows looking out onto the courtyard. There is now easy access to the outside space and teachers have been able to tie some of their curriculum into the “outdoor classroom.”
Over the summer of 2021, the Hardypond crew focused on all the important finishing touches for the project. The pre-planning as well as the pre-ordering and measuring of materials enabled Hardypond to hit the ground running once school was out for the summer. All the remaining classrooms that needed some love got fresh finishes, and all the mechanical systems were tied together and brought online. Making new cabinetry work in spaces without field measuring and connecting miles and miles of electrical wires involved a massive effort. While it isn’t always the most exciting phase of construction, this final push to update and connect the extensive electrical, mechanical, and sprinkler systems showcased the incredible project management needed to execute a project of this scope and complexity.
“We knew we couldn’t wait for anything. We really had to use the work space efficiently and effectively,” shares Hardypond President Deirdre Wadsworth. A major goal throughout the project was to keep kids in their classrooms, which meant Hardypond had the logistical challenge of working in phases to limit the interruption of kids’ learning. “We had to get creative with the school to make it happen.” continues Wadsworth. All the planning and hard work paid off and the upgrades and updates necessary for the kids to have a good school environment got completed in the nick of time: Hardypond finished the project for Lyseth students and teachers were able to start the school in the fresh, beautiful space!