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Update on Rebuilding Birney’s Cafeteria and Auditorium
By Laura Dadmun, President, Friends of Alice Birney Elementary

On June 11, a meeting was held about rebuilding Birney’s cafeteria and auditorium that was destroyed by an arsonist in January of this year. Present were Principal Amanda Hammond-Williams, teachers, parents, representatives of PTA and Friends of Alice Birney, the architect in charge of the project and representatives from SDUSD.

The current estimate is for construction to begin in December 2012 with expected completion in June 2013. There have been some delays getting the project off the ground. Initial reports by the insurance company indicated no structural damage; however, an independent structural engineer hired by SDUSD discovered there was structural damage. This will require the interior of the building to be gutted. Asbestos tiles were discovered in the cafeteria, which will require specialized removal and safety procedures, particularly since demolition will be occurring during the school year. Now that the scope of the project has been determined, it must be put out to bid.

The essentials of the exterior and interior of the building will not change. The exterior will be cleaned and painted, and new windows, floor and wall coverings, and a new heater, prepped for AC installation if funds become available, will be installed. The exterior tile mural will be preserved and the stage cleaned and refinished. Two doorways and two school bathrooms will have to be reconfigured to conform to current disabled access standards. In addition, a disabled access area must be created in the parking lot to the south of the school, resulting in the loss of five staff parking spaces.

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