School Finance 519: Summer Projects at SAS

School Finance 519: Summer Projects at SAS

On Friday, June 3, the traditional blare of bus horns welcoming summer break will also signal the start of our facilities team's busiest time of year. During the 57 days (including Sundays) of the 2016 summer vacation, 99 different projects will be tackled, involving an average of 80 contractors and 15 construction vehicles daily. The summer work period allows us to improve and repair school facilities without causing disruption for students and teachers. When school starts in August, our students will be able to use the campus to its full potential.

Over two hundred project requests were submitted last fall, with the pros and cons of each evaluated according to criteria such as importance to our educational mission, safety and maintenance implications, and enhancement of assets, aesthetics, and product branding. 44 percent were accepted and a competitive bidding process undertaken, with contracts awarded in the spring. As it is every summer, the focus for SAS project managers and outside contractors alike will be on safety, efficiency, quality, and attention to detail in all maintenance and upgrading projects.

Major projects

Major projects are coordinated through the school's 10-year asset management plan. Following last summer's auditorium renovation project, this year the plan originally called for the elementary theater's renovation. However, this project has been postponed so that recommendations arising from the ongoing master planning process may be incorporated.

Instead, our most eye-catching summer project will involve the ECC, which will be renamed the Early Learning Center (ELC) next year. Building on the success of last year's preschool renovation, our pre-kindergarten rooms will be similarly remodeled. Four open-flow learning hubs, each accommodating two classes, will give pre-kindergarten students the same Reggio Emilia-inspired learning spaces that so engaged them as preschoolers this year. The Move and Groove room and Chinese classroom will move to the old preschool rooms abutting the school road. Other improvements include installing more sound-absorbing ceiling panels; replacing carpeting with laminate flooring in the main hall; installing a wall in the preschool area for consistency in class groupings; and creating a teacher collaboration room. With this renovation, the interior upgrading of the ELC will be completed, and the progression for our young learners from the preschool areas to the pre-kindergarten areas will be both natural and comfortable.

Other major projects include renovating the elementary school's administrative offices, including the principals' offices, the nurses' room, the elementary after school activities office, and the counseling offices. More prosaic but equally important tasks include the continuation of our restroom renovation project, with changing rooms and toilets in our middle school and high school sports facilities receiving facelifts. Behind the scenes, we will continue to replace air handling units, fan coil units and pumps in our air conditioning system, upgrade much of our CCTV equipment, replace our electrical distribution boards, and renovate the IT server room.

Smaller projects

Elementary School

  • Add bike-parking stations
  • Replace outdoor basketball stands and backboards
  • Replace foyer floor tiles
  • Upgrade library IT hub center
  • Paint floor lines for badminton and volleyball in gyms C and D
  • Replace worn playground surfaces
  • Install safety barrier for ELC cycling area

Middle School

  • Replace thirty classrooms' tables and chairs
  • Install rollers for science tables
  • Renew Grab-and-Go food kiosks
  • Replace outdoor timber flooring outside cafeteria
  • Upgrade corridor lighting

High School

  • Create Quest classroom and library learning labs
  • Upgrade classroom lighting
  • Repair running track surfaces
  • Repair chain-link fencing behind track
  • Repair pavement slab beside baseball field
  • Improve storage and install shutters in grandstand announcers' booth

Through deliberate, efficient planning of summer projects, SAS acts as a responsible steward of our financial and physical resources. Summer works allow us to keep our facilities fresh, safe, and reliable so they continue to meet our program needs. By completing as many projects as possible during the break, we avoid disrupting classes during the year or exposing students, staff, and visitors to risk or discomfort. We thank you in advance for your understanding, patience, and support.

If you have any questions or concerns related to construction, please email Anthony Wong, Director of Facilities and Services, at If you have comments, questions, and suggestions for future finance articles, please send them to We look forward to hearing from you.