Tuesday, April 10, 2001

New windows perk up old school

Project part of CPS renovations

By Andrea Tortora
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Sayler Park School is getting a face-lift. Bright new windows are being installed this week, giving the building better function and a spruced-up appearance. Gone are the blue-plastic panels, rotted wood frames and exterior green screens designed to prevent window breakage.

        It's all part of Cincinnati Public Schools' $700 million, 15-year effort to renovate and update its 75 schools. The district will spend $20 million to replace windows at 26 schools in the next two years.

        Sayler Park School will receive 164 insulated aluminum windows, which will provide better light and more energy efficiency, and reduce the need for exterior painting.

        “We're taking a gamble by taking the screens off, but it's an effort to change attitudes about our buildings,” said Michael Burson, district facilities manager.

        Students and staff will notice big changes when they return from spring break. Workers from OKI Window Systems of Loveland will spend this week replacing windows in the cafeteria and classrooms.

        Each window — 4 1/2 feet wide and 9 feet tall — can easily be opened by a child, thanks to a balancing system. Windows in classrooms have blinds inside the glass, which can be opened and shut by the turn of a knob.

        The new windows cost about $1,200 each. The interior blinds add up to an extra $75 per window, but that's less than the district spends on window shades, which cost up to $150 each and must be replaced frequently, said Ginni Dierkes, project manager.

        Windows with aluminum frames instead of wood also reduce painting costs. It costs about $60,000 annual ly to paint exterior windows and doors at a school such as Sayler Park, Mr. Burson said.

        There won't be immediate savings in energy costs. That will come when the district adds new heating and air conditioning systems, Mr. Burson said.

        The most noticeable difference is how the building looks. The new windows make Sayler Park's brick exterior look brighter and cleaner.

        Folks made the same comments when Hartwell School got new windows in the fall.

        “On the older buildings it's really important that the new windows have the same appearance as the old windows,” Ms. Dierkes said. “We need to keep this in line with the buildings in the neighborhood.”


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