¡Feliz Año Nuevo a todos! Welcome back to our students and families away since Hurricane María. We missed you!
I take this opportunity to update you on our campus recovery efforts in the wake of Hurricane María. In the days following the event, we focused on two goals: (1) safely re-opening the school, and (2) offering full day and after school programs from the start. This entailed the removal of a significant amount of tree and construction debris, an estimated eighty tons. It also involved a number of immediate repairs to our electronic infrastructure and climate control units. We employed a number of creative workarounds, including cell phones in lieu of analog phone lines for direct school communications, and a dynamic choreography of generator usage on event days.
In the weeks and months since, we removed most remaining debris from the back areas of campus, those hit hardest by the storm. We brought 98% of our AC units back on line. We repaired all our perimeter fencing, and completed additional fencing on the far side of campus. We continue to update and extend our physical security. We are resurfacing damaged walkways and stairs. We've added new security windows and doors to administrative and library spaces (95% complete).
We also completed a full engineering assessment of our campus, and now await our adjusted insurance claim, expected within the next week. With this money in hand, we will turn our attention to the following major projects:
- While our generators are a blessing, certain campus areas still lack emergency power, including the pool, Pennock Fieldhouse, and Visual and Performing Arts Center. We intend to correct this, increase our reserve fuel capacity, and make other improvements to our electrical grid as necessary. Planning and finalization of proposals is underway.
- All of our rooflines received some amount of damage, which we are working to correct. Our administrative building and nursing station rooflines are in the poorest shape. Rather than rushing to attend to aesthetics, we are instead looking to improve upon the preexisting design. For example, we intend to run an AC split system in our administrative space, removing a number of weathered and inefficient AC units from the roof in favor of a single, protected, ground-level high efficiency unit. Once completed, we will construct an appropriately rated continuous metal roofline on steel frame. This will eliminate chronic problems like termite damage and leaks, add cover to the space between the MUS building and the administrative building, and improve the overall look of the space. Planning and the solicitation of proposals is underway.
- Our tennis courts were severely damaged by Hurricanes Irma and María. We will make necessary corrections to the subsurface and supporting structure. Once completed, we will install a new court surface, new fencing, and new LED lighting.
- This summer, we will prioritize roof treatments and the exterior painting of all major campus structures.
We're not done. While we are considering other major improvements, these are contingent upon many factors, so it is premature to outline them at present. However, you can be assured that our campus will be fully restored and improved before the start of the new school year. Furthermore, we are carefully reflecting on all of our response efforts following María so that we can grow as a result of our experiences, and be better prepared in the future.
I wish you all an uneventful, downright ordinary 2018!
See you around campus.