New State-of-the-art Elevator for AHS

September 26, 2014

by Len Lathrop

After a summer of construction, beginning on June 26 — the day that school ended– a new entrance for Alvirne High School became functional, including a state-of-the-art elevator that travels to all four stories.  During the town elections last March, voters approved $300,000 for this elevator project.  During the ribbon cutting on the 18th, Principal Steve Beals mentioned it was needed and that the school board and administration had been trying to get it done since he was a student.  That was an exaggeration, but it has been for at least the last 10 years.

As plans were drawn, the new shaft was to be constructed where the original building, replaced after the 1974 fire, adjoins the Steckevicz Gymnasium; the projected cost included just the elevator and its housing with the exterior walls being covered with vinyl clapboards.  When the Alvirne Trustees reviewed the plans, they quickly set up with another $300,000 to make the renovations as you see them today.

One hundred thousand dollars went to cover the new elevator shaft with brick that matches the building and to construct permanent storage areas outside the doorway, replacing the white sheds that the music and art departments have used for storage.  It also repaired and upgraded the cupola a top the building which had been worked on since the fire.  And for the first time, this cupola has a light, so it can be seen at night.  Several other building repairs were made during this construction; the main entrance which is now as you enter the Steckevicz Gymnasium is secure and has an appealing patio in front of it.

Both Beals and School Board Chairman Laura Bisson thanked the voters and the Alvirne Trustees for supporting these additions to the school.

Beals highlighted the efforts of Madison McClellan to get this project in front of the voters and the school board.  For her efforts she was given the honor of cutting the ribbon opening the new elevator and highlighting the positive change to the building and its funtionability.