Work is underway at the old H.O. Brittingham Elementary to prepare the vacant school to house Milton Elementary students and staff beginning with the 2019-20 school year.
Milton Elementary renovations, likely to take about two years, will begin this summer. Students, staff and administration are set to move into the old HOB, which is directly in front of the new HOB, until construction is complete.
Supervisor of Facilities Lenny Richardson said HOB sat empty for six months before floors were cleaned.
“In every other school, over the summer, floors are redone and everything is wiped down,” Richardson said. “None of these things were done last year because our custodians moved over to the new building and helped out there.”
Richardson said the biggest hurdle in preparing the old HOB was that the building had no assigned custodial crew.
“We couldn’t assign one,” Richardson said. “You don’t get funding for personnel in an empty building.”
Richardson said a core group, including chiefs and custodians from the Sussex Consortium, Beacon Middle, HOB, Milton and Shields elementaries, worked up to four hours overtime each day and from four to eight hours nearly every Saturday from November to March to finish the job.
HOB’s old collapsible lunch tables were removed to make way for tables from Milton and Rehoboth. New carpet was installed in administrative offices and other rooms, and many library books already line wooden shelves.
On the playground, Richardson said, swings will be painted and equipment from Milton and Rehoboth may be installed. A grey shed, red tetherball pole and a modular classroom will be removed.
A hole will be cut in fencing behind the playground to create a walkway between the old and new HOB.
“Children from both schools will attend Boys & Girls Club before- and after-school programs in the new HOB,” Richardson said.
Richardson said Milton Elementary custodians now come to the old school once a week to keep their assigned areas clean.
“Our guys take great pride in our district, and they worked extremely hard to pull this off,” Richardson said. “A regular crew of six custodians, which HOB previously had, would have 240 hours per week of man/woman power to get this done over the summer in six weeks. Our guys did that much work in overtime to make this happen.”