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Firefighters Battling Mill Valley House Fire

School District Races to Finish Old Mill, Tam Valley Projects

With the first day of school less than three weeks away, officials say some work will continue into the school year.

officials knew the 11-week timeline to complete nearly $7 million in construction work at two schools was going to be tight.

Despite unforeseen obstacles that set back renovations at both and elementary schools this summer, the schools will be ready for the fast-approaching first day of school, according to Tim Ryan, the district’s director of maintenance and operations.

Work will continue for a couple of weeks into the school year at both campuses, but nothing that will impact students, Ryan said. At Tam Valley, a new parking won’t be open immediately, while planting and some work in the hallways at Old Mill might stretch into early September, he said.

“You’re always going to find some things you don’t anticipate,” Ryan said. “But none of it was a huge time impact, we haven’t exceeded our budget, and we’ll be ready for the students for sure.”

Both schools are getting new roofs and windows, as well as new exterior painting, fire alarm systems, skylights and flooring. A new staff parking lot is being built at Tam Valley, while the lot at Old Mill is being upgraded for disabled access.

Unanticipated delays came in the form of dry rot at Old Mill and late requests from neighbors at Tam Valley, according to Ryan. A from the Old Mill site last month, for which a suspect has not yet been identified by Mill Valley Police, did not impact the construction schedule.

Workers had to replace a corner of a four-classroom building in the lower wing by the blacktop because of dry rot at Old Mill, expanding the scope beyond just replacing the windows. Ryan also acknowledged the re-discovery of an old sulphur spring that runs under the parking lot, contributing to Mill Valley’s status as a destination back in the 1800s.

“Before it was a school, it was a sulphur spring,” Ryan said.

At Tam Valley, neighbors expressed concerns about drainage issues in the new parking lot once construction began, and district officials heeded the requests despite their late submission, Ryan said.

“You always want to be a good neighbor,” Ryan said.

In addition to those two projects, the district’s replacement of the HVAC system at was dealt a blow when its roof consultant determined that it was wise to replace its aging roof rather than patch it up. The setback cost the district an extra $23,000, but Ryan said the cost is covered within the contingency budget of the $59.8 million bond passed by voters in 2009.

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