By Gina Buccino
LEBANON - Even as work begins on a new high school and a new elementary school, Berry Middle School has undergone a significant face-lift.The school has a new elevator for students with disabilities, a new boiler system, a repaired roof, and work continues on a fitness center.
"Our situation is greatly improved with the elevator," said Tom Olson, Berry Middle School principal. "We are able to have students with handicaps get to all areas of the building very safely. They are thankful to have it."
The principal added that the elevator will also help students who must use crutches as a result of leg or ankle injuries. In the past, students had to use a chair lift to access upper floors. Some injured students chose to hop up and down steps.
"It is great to be able to give them a key to the elevator," Mr. Olson added. Other recent renovations at Berry Middle School include installing a new boiler system last year, which school administrators said worked fine during this past winter; a new roof for the technology and maintenance areas of the building; and repairing the roof over the gymnasium during spring break.
The improvements are important to the long-term health of the building and protect the inside of the building from leaks, which could cause water damage to the contents, said Mr. Olson and Superintendent Bill Sears.
The new fitness center is progressing well, although the equipment will not be delivered until after school is out for the year, Mr. Olson said.
Mr. Sears said construction of the new schools is progressing well, with the help of good weather. The foundations of the schools have been poured and work is beginning on the outer walls.
Both schools are on target for completion in August 2004, he said.
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