This summer, Hardypond started work on a multi-phase project to rejuvenate Lyseth Elementary School in Portland. The Summer Phase (work on classrooms and other interior spaces) wrapped up before the start of the school year so that the students and faculty could enjoy their educational environment, and Phase Two is officially underway!
Phase Two focuses specifically on a brand new gym and library.. Like any building project, this starts from the ground up. Laying foundations in the Maine Winter is no easy task, but Hardypond’s well-weathered and experienced team has deployed a small army of ground heaters to ensure proper cement pouring and correct installation. With almost all of the foundations down and the steel structures erected for the new additions, focus is turning to covering the new spaces.
Multiple types of materials will be used to create a functional, fun, and safe environment for learning and playing. One unique feature of the structures will be a glass hallway, gently curved by faceted panels. In addition to glass, surface coverings will include concrete plank and special acoustic wall panels. Hardypond President, Deirdre Wadsworth, notes that the finished buildings will include “colorful community areas, with lots of glass to fill the space with natural, bright light.”
For the duration of the project in all of its phases, Hardypond’s biggest focus has been on maintaining the safety of Lyseth students and faculty on an active construction site. From choreographing construction with the arrival and departure of busses and students, to defining definite delivery hours and escorts for trucks, Hardypond has worked tirelessly with Lyseth administration to ensure safety.
Although Hardypond has done a thorough job clearly marking exits and entrances with clear, printed signage, they ran into an unforeseen hiccup: many of the elementary school’s young inhabitants haven’t yet learned to read. “This created a new challenge,” Deirdre admits. However, Lyseth staff and administration worked with students every day to learn the significance of signs in ways that didn’t rely on formal literacy.
The relationship between Lyseth construction and the Lyseth students is so positive in fact, that the school has started a Junior Construction Crew video series: Second-graders outfitted with hard hats and radios give updates on the project’s status. Between the Hardypond Team and the Lyseth students, it’s hard to tell who’s more excited to see the project come to fruition.