Construction woes and rants
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School starts Monday. The construction on the school and the library are not yet complete.
No one ordered library shelving, and I wasn't told until Friday. I asked several administrators over the last few months if I needed to order shelves, but was either blown off, told they didn't know either, and that it was taken care of. So I make an emergency phone call to Demco, and 2 guys came out yesterday, took measurements and sent me a workup of what I need. Principal approved it, so yay! No idea yet when it will be delivered. (Demco rocks!)
Tried all day yesterday to meet with our Tech to see where our student computer are supposed to go and how many will I get. Happened to run into him today, and had him look at the Demco blueprint. He doesn't know how many student computers we'll get. He also tells me that the spot I want to put the SmartBoard can't go there. There is no other logical place to put it. So I made his day by offering to take a portable SmartBoard, and give my wall-mounted unit to someone else.
Then I wandered into the library and the crew is putting in the laminate for the circ desk. It is orange. ORANGE. As in 1975 ORANGE. Jack-o-lantern orange. Hunter jacket orange. Emergency cones orange. ORANGE. The school colors are green and gold, and all the other new tiles and paint are those colors. There is no money for new tables and chairs and my chairs are GREEN. Orange is my least favorite color, and IMO the one color that clashes with nearly every other color. No one in their right mind would use orange in interior design, except possibly Peter Peter Pumpkin Eater.
The room is not nearly as big as I was told it would be; the layout sucks, and the carpet is ugly as well. All my books are in boxes in storage, and I am supposed to teach on Monday, as I have been put in the co-curricular rotation schedule. No internet in our school, and no idea when I can even be able to make the kids' library cards. Or get bulletin boards and other decorations up.
Construction crew was testing the fire alarms this afternoon (again), it was 105 degrees today (again), I'm unable to do ANYTHING constructive, so I just went home. Maybe I'll be able to do some lesson planning or something
End of rant. Except....did I mention school starts Monday???? Ack.
Dang, that's grim. I feel heartily sorry for your state. Orange is soooo not appealing, except in it's edible form. What about heavy duty contact paper.
The computer teacher discovered today that the Tech wants to return to her lab 16 computers...when she turned in 24 last spring, and needs at least 21, seeing has that is the number of students in each class. It seems all the *fairly new* elementary lab computers have been reallocated to another campus. Needless to say, she and our principal had a little conversation with him. Also it's unlikely that classroom teachers will have a student computer in their rooms. $*((&!! budget cuts.
Good news: neither she nor I will have to conduct classes next week. Seeing as how it is difficult to teach computer class w/o computers, and library skills w/o books.
In my experience, whether at home or at work, ALL renos require close supervision for as long as the project takes. And even then it can go off the tracks. Hard lesson learned :-(
We had a ribbon cutting ceremony and open house tonight. Lots of people came and there were several comments like, "What's up with the orange desk?" and "Who decided on the orange desk?" And rumor has it that one of the board member said it had to go and be replaced with school colors (green and gold, like the rest of the building). I told the superintendent that if it magically went away I wouldn't be sad. And that was before I heard what the board member said. Fingers crossed.
I share your dislike about orange. When we moved into our house 21 years ago it had orange carpets. My husband promised we would get new ones. Guess what? I painted our bathroom over the summer and asked what color he wanted. He told me he hated blue (my favorite color) and wanted green. I picked a color of green as slightly to the yellow side as I could stand it and he still thought it was blue. I really wanted to throw the orange carpet up in his face!
Maybe the person who picked that color for your library worked in a McDonald's and thought it was an appropriate color for a work place.
7> Sounds like he has some sort of color blindness. My perception of where the boundary between blue and green lie differs from those around me as well.
I went ahead and had classes this week...borrowed books from the public library to read aloud. Until the books are on the shelves, we will be doing worksheets, which I hate.
Still no computer, still have an orange circ desk, and the superintendent has made me get 3 bids on the shelving. So I finally got the last bid this afternoon. Hopefully the super can make the decision, and we don't have to wait for the board to approve. Not holding my breath on that though.
The longer I'm here, the more problems I've found. There is absolutely no storage...not one drawer, cupboard, or shelf. Anywhere in the room. The whole layout of the room is not good.
The wall where the student computers (the currently nonexistant ones) must go has no outlets or ports. Who knows when that is going to happen??
My white board is still sitting on the floor, although I've asked it to be hung(directly asked the head of maintenance).
My computer was promised by the end of the week. Which means I have no internet unless I wander the school looking for a computer someone will let me use. I took my own laptop today so I can make out lesson plans.
So far it's been a rough start to school this year.
Rough doesn't begin to describe it. Let's hope things start improving very soon.
It is sad and stupid that they never confer with the people who will be working in the space about the design. My friend works in a middle school library with no sink and the circulation desk is on the opposite end of the room from the main entrance. They didn't even look at other libraries in the district to see what they looked like.
11> That's so true! We renovated the Library I work in about 3 years ago and while I had a little input, we've been making changes ever since to make stuff actually functional - which, of course costs money that they could have saved if they would have done it right in the first place. Pisses me off when it happens at a company like this, but even worse when it's done with taxpayer money at a school.
Funny thing is, we are a visual arts school and dole out degrees in....wait for it.....Interior Design! Did they ask any of the ID faculty about renovations? No more than they asked me, who would be using the space and am allegedly the library 'expert'.
2 funny stories along these lines, though....
1. They decided to save electricity they would put in motion detectors and the lights would go out when the room was not in use. Perfectly fine in the bathroom, even in classrooms....but, they put them in the Library, too. From day 1, the lights kept going out and we'd have to jump around to get them back on. Hello? People sit and study in a Library - there aren't always people walking around. So, in less than a week, they had to disable them. WASTED MONEY!!
2. They installed a bell that rang when anybody opened the door to the bookstore so a worker in the back would know somebody came in. The bell rang in the storage room, which shares a wall with the Library. It took me about a week to figure out what that dang incessant ringing was...students working on computers along that wall were annoyed. I went to the bookstore for something and figured out what it was. It was deactivated the next day after I complained about how loud it was in the Library. DUH! MORE WASTED MONEY!!
Sometimes I wonder how places even manage to run and keep their doors open.
Got the bid approved, the requisition made out. Delivery time, 4-6 weeks. So today I waded my way thru the storage room, climbed up the boxes and pulled out about 200 books. They are on 2 book trucks and students will have to choose from those. Everyone seemed happy with the pitiful selection.
Finally got a computer, but it's in my office, so if a student wants to check out a book, I have to take it to the office to do so. The tech will not install it at the circ desk until it has been replaced (did I mention that the horrible orange laminate is GOING AWAY??!!).
Administration has decreed that our daily objectives are to be posted on the board. The white board is still laying on the floor. I found another maintenance man today and asked if he could please see to it that it's installed. We'll see.
Book fair is the week after next. Good news is that we'll have PLENTY of room for it. :)
Better news is that I got a $2500 from Dollar General Literacy Grant. When the shelves come in, it'll be time to go shopping!
Not sure how many books you have in storage but maybe requesting some volunteers from LT'ers in your general area may help with setup once you get the shelving in.
Not sure what your school's/district's polices are though...
The budget for the shelves was cut by a thousand dollars yesterday. Sigh.
Could always run down to your local supermarket, grab a couple dozen milk crates, and use those. (Ask first of course if you do. Many chains pay a deposit on them.)
I know that sounds silly but think of it as the same as the orange counter. When the board members see that, they'll express their annoyance and "fix" the issue hopefully like they did above.
Look at it like how Crate and Barrel was started. :)
Construction guys came today--in the middle of the school day--to replace the orange countertop. Dust, noise, etc. while I'm supposed to be teaching and running a book fair. And they only did the top. Another crew will come at some other (I'm sure inconvenient) time to cover the front of the countertop with new laminate.
Look at all the things our students learn in the library - research skills and construction skills! You are extra brave to run a book fair, too. We decided that 1. there aren't enough good books for high school and 2. we weren't getting any volunteers and 3. it was hard to close the library for that many days and, lastly, 4. it felt like we were providing a training ground for shoplifting. Consequently we don't do book fairs any more.
Enjoy a well earned weekend!
Today the tech came to install computer lines. In the middle of me trying to teach 1st graders (well, at least trying to get them to sit down and read a book and keep away from the book fair, lol) Right in the area where the children were sitting.
It's like Gilda Radner used to say, "It's always something."
But perhaps by Monday, I'll have working student computers, and my circulation computer will be on my circ desk instead of in my office.
Book fair is over, packed it up today. Big sigh of relief. Hopefully, I made enough money to make it worth the trouble; usually we net about $1000. Too tired to count it up today.
The shelves finally came today. I don't think there are enough. No idea where I will put reference books.
Still no working student computers.
On the plus side, today Sam's/Walmart came to our school and I won a $100 gift card! I will be using it to buy storage containers and drawers for the circ desk.
My computer was finally put at the circ desk today.
Still waiting for the white board to be hung in the proper place.
Weeded about 400 books to make room for new stuff, since there was not nearly enough shelving ordered. Had to be absolutely ruthless in the fiction section; anything not checked out in the last 3 years had to go.
New books are on display and circulating nicely. For about 15 minutes today, everything was good in my universe. Then the principal drops a bomb this morning that the library will close for 45 minutes 3 days a week so that I can tutor 3rd grade math. Sigh.
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