N.A. Early Childhood Center, 115 Phillips Brooks Rd., North Andover, MA 01845
Director: Marylou Connors, 978-794-1577 connorsm@northandoverpublicschools.com

Sunday, August 26, 2018



Well as I sit here this morning trying to decide where to start with this week's blog I think of the week being like a ping-pong game (not that I am a ping-pong player!).  There was so much going on in every corner of the building and in every way in our office. It's ok though because it is definitely game time and everyone was clearly in overdrive. I have never seen so many people work so hard and together! You will see from the photos how many different people were involved in getting the building ready for the staff this week.  I have to, once again, thank my custodian Bob for helping me get some great photos - even taking a few from the roof! So, I'm guessing you are saying "just show us what the building looks like!"  OK, here I go -

One of the biggest changes this week was the site work in our parking lot and in the front of our building. I have to say the pictures do not really do it justice. F.P. Reilly and Sons are without a doubt some of THE hardest workers ever - and I know I have said this before but I cannot stress it enough. They are out there 7 days per week in the rain, sun and/or 100 degree weather! Check out some of their progress:

The week started off with the site prepped for walkways and pavement, but I never thought they would get as much done as they did in just a week! 

The first project of their week was to pour the concrete for the entrance and the ramp. I am pretty good now at figuring out the steps to these "pours" (that's what we "cool" builder people call this-lol)! The guys were in so early in the morning for their pour that they were working with the headlights to their trucks as their lighting!  And as you can see from this photo, they are literally up to their knees in concrete and must all work together and quickly once the concrete is poured!

As you can see from the series of photos, they quickly got the entrance and the ramp completed and further down, you will see how the finished product looked by the end of the week.

The next big project for Reilly's group was the parking lot. In this first photo you will see them working in torrential rain! The are AMAZING and I am so thankful that they are so dedicated to our school and the site work!!

Once things dried up it was time to pave! These photos are great examples of team work for sure!

Before we knew it we had a paved parking lot - which is actually just the "binding" of it all. I guess it is like a foundation to a house - who knew?!  Over the next few weeks or so the final coats will be put on but it is just about ready for our first round of the parking lot.

The final project to end their week was to install the granite curbing yesterday. As you can see it is really beginning to look sharp. You are actually seeing it in pieces right now but when it is ready for you to drive through and see it all together, you are going to be even more impressed with their work!

Being such a visual person it is hard for me to see what the whole school will look like once it is completed and the canopy and flagpole are installed. But so far it is just so beautiful and it is all starting to make sense to me!  My poor custodian Bob - he can't go anywhere w/o me saying "hey can you take a photo also!"  So, when he went up to change some filters of course I needed him to take a few rooftop shots for all of you! So these are two rooftop photos to give you an idea of what it is all starting to look like on a broader scope!

Another big project of the week was to get the multi-purpose room (also known as the gym, cafe, breakfast club, kidstop and preschool playroom) complete. They made a lot of progress in this room because this is the room that a week ago was an Erector set ready to be assembled! There are a lot of moving parts to this room so it is more complicated. By the time I left yesterday it was in great shape as you will see.  The week started with cords, equipment, big machines, etc. all around - oh yeah and a lot of people!

We have three big closets in this room. We will have storage for Community Programs, kitchen supplies, gym equipment, etc. I tried to auction the closets off but I only had a $5.00 bid for one - hmmm they will all regret not bidding when they get back and want the storage!  :)

The floor in this room will be a rubber floor that will be easy to keep clean.  It is a dark tan- like color - and I know I should know the exact color name because as I've mentioned before, tan is never just considered "tan" - it has to have a fancy name that takes a week or two to choose - and you all know by now from my blogging, colors are NOT my thing. Give me a crayon box and let me choose one of the 8 colors!  I must say though - the colors throughout the building look great!

You can see the steps in placing the rubber floor down. Of course in my non-construction mind I thought hmmmm, rubber floor - must be poured down!  Well, not quite - it was carefully placed tile by tile.

The final product looked sharp when it was all down.  This will be one very busy floor with lots of little feet running around!

The next project for the multi-purpose room this week was installing the doors on the outside going into the room. I must say they look sharp!

Here are a few shots of the outside of the multi-purpose room. Check out how beautiful the windows are in this room! I also love the way the wall curves - adds a bit more pizzaz to the ABECC!

The fun now is getting the new furniture assembled and getting the classroom furniture moved over into our building. They are not kidding when they say it takes a village because it took a village of custodians to get things rocking inside. It was time to charge those drills, fill those floor cleaning buckets and get the teams together because ready or not, the teachers are arriving TOMORROW!!  I'll give you a sneak preview into a couple of the rooms w/some of the new and old furniture moved in - but then when you see them all decorated and completed you will be amazed!!  This first photo is our beautiful library/music room. These shelves are all set for some awesome preschool and kindergarten books. Are you going to be a library parent helper??  Also check out the shine on those floors thanks to our own custodian crew!

Here's an idea of all of the teachers desks that needed to be put assembled.

I'm thinking the custodians do not want to see anymore tables delivered - those are a LOT of legs to put on!!

Any guesses what is in these boxes???  I'm not telling!!

Here are a few photos of our staff room. It is a really good size and even has an area to do a teacher's favorite task - laminate and dye cut!!  This is going to be a great room for our preschool and kindergarten teachers to get to know each other and form new friendships, exactly what we are asking all of our children to do!  

Moving day means lots of organization! We had our own custodian team moving the new furniture into rooms but then had a professional moving company (thank you to Sterling Movers) move the kindergarten furniture from the elementary schools into the ABECC. This all happened on Friday so with a big move comes lots of organization! Here was the map that was found throughout the building to make things easier. For someone like me who is directionally challenged, I'll need a GPS to just find certain teacher's classrooms!

Everything was shrink wrapped ahead of time and the teachers strategically packed their belongings. Although it may look overwhelming to people, there is lots of storage built in and teachers are masters are organizing their belongings!  Here's a few photos of moving day!

Although it was a long day for all - the overall move went great!  All of the kindergarten furniture and materials are now in the correct classrooms so the teachers will be able to begin organizing their classrooms as soon as tomorrow!  As you can see from the photos below, the classrooms are already starting to take shape! The teachers all left maps for the custodians so when they come in tomorrow, things will be where they wanted them to be already!

It was definitely a week of inspectors, project managers, our own administrators, etc. to visit the building and take care of punch lists.  Here's an example of a brainstorming session with Triumph Modulars - great group of people to work with!!

On the other side of everything is all of us inside getting ready for our children arrive. Sometimes you have to bring in reinforcements to get the job done when you are down to the wire.  Since this blog was a bit more detailed with photos I had to bring in Susie Q to supervise my blog writing! She takes her job very seriously!

No one in my house gets away with not doing anything when it is game time so even mom is put to work sorting out parent questionnaires into classes for the preschool children! She's very efficient in her job so I might just have to give her another task - no sitting around here!!

Finally, one of the funniest things is where I tend to "find" people hiding. I look up, I look down, and I find people everywhere!  This is like "Where's Waldo!"

Within days the contractors will slowly leave our site and pass this beautiful school on to all of us in the North Andover School System. We will all be very excited to begin this new journey as one school and one staff - known to everyone as the AMAZING ABECC! It started as just an idea on paper and after countless meetings (and tons of color decisions!!) and many dedicated people along the way, we are only 24 hours away from our staff being able to walk through those doors and begin to establish their own identity known to all as the Anne Bradstreet Early Childhood Center! Welcome staff - I am so proud and honored to be able to be the Co-Principal of this school and be there for all of you!!

I have to end (although this is NOT the last blog) by thanking my editor each week.  My mom is my best critic and editor and is the one that finds my random thoughts and sometimes incomplete thoughts (and sentences). There is always so much to write that my mind is ahead of my typing at times. And everyone needs a boss so not only do I have her but then she has "Susie Q" supervising her!  So thanks team - on to the next week of photos now!!