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Some school employees call lower ceilings a 'mistake'

February 02, 2000

By BRUCE HAMILTON / Staff Writer

Photo by JOE CROCETTA / Staff Photographer




Clear Spring Elementary School's $4.8 million renovation is upsetting some staff members who say there is a mistake in the design.

Because ceilings had to be lowered to accommodate a sprinkler system and other structural improvements, drywall blocks the upper interior of several exterior windows.

"As far as I'm concerned, there has been a mistake," said Rebecca Cline, a fourth-grade teacher who worked on a committee that drafted the building's specifications. "I don't like the way it looks."

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Director of Facilities Management Dennis McGee said the design is not a mistake. "We did it on purpose," he said. "This is a very common detail in renovation projects."

He met with staff to explain the situation on Jan. 27, but several staff members don't like the way the windows were set, he said.

The project is the school's first renovation since it was built in 1954. New schools typically have about 13 feet, 6 inches from floor to ceiling, but Clear Spring has 10 feet, 6 inches, according to McGee.

The new windows are higher than the lowered ceiling by more than a foot. McGee said other schools like Lincolnshire Elementary School have the same feature. With blinds, it will not be noticeable, he said.

Cline, a 27-year veteran of the school, disagrees. "This building belongs to us," she said. "It's not just a place where we work. There is ownership here."

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