Our space is transforming. This old mayonnaise factory has seen many companies and owners come and go over the years, but it has never seen the likes of us. We stripped the floor down to the bare concrete and laid down new layers of indestructible (according the manufacturers spec-sheet) epoxy. From this tabula rasa we’re raising new partition walls and laying down the patterns of use that will shape our first months here.
If I say we’re calm and collected before the storm of the first day of school, I might be lying. Maybe.
But we’re so excited to be doing what we’re doing. Our full staff of seven came in for the first time yesterday to get down to business planning the first day of school and integrating the field trips and experts with activities and amazing projects to take on. We were off-site for most of the day as the floor was finally epoxied, and today with the floor looking shiny and new, we got to work with a small crew of volunteers painting, fixing walls, putting down the cork floor over the plywood sheets in the performance space, building walls, moving supplies, and bringing in new furniture to fill up the school for the students.
There’s work being done. Lots of it. We took a quick break, though, and made friends with Panorama Bakery, whose smell of baking bread wafts in gorgeous waves to us every afternoon from across the street. And they gave us some of their fresh-baked bread. Yum.
We’ve been working outside of the school yesterday and today in downtown San Francisco while the concrete floor in the warehouse gets epoxied – apparently, the stench is stomach-twisting and nauseating, and if we were to be in there, we’d have to wear ventilated gas masks to prevent us from passing out. So better to be kicked out then to have precious minutes wasted by being out cold. Because – wow! – there’s only 11 days left until the first day of school!
We’ve been doing a lot of planning as we prepare for our collaborator staff to join us next week, and getting excursions and experts on the calendar for the first phase of our arc. We’re also trying to coordinate schedules for when things can happen, construction-wise, in the building. As everything has to stop until the floor is completely done and dry, there’s a limited number of tasks that can happen while we wait, but we’ll still be hard at work this weekend with a gang of parents, students, staff, and volunteers to get things as ready as possible before September 6.
Today the floor was stripped to bare concrete in a matter of hours. We were all impressed by the speed of the job, especially because our amazing parents had attempted to strip the floor themselves a few weekends ago! That machine was slow and ended up breaking, so we called in the professionals with the heavy-duty hand-grinder and lawnmower-like shot blaster. By 4pm, the loud, dull grinding had stopped, the dust was settled, the metal shot had been cleaned up, and the floor is ready to be epoxied tomorrow.
The plywood subfloor in the corner was finished this morning and looks incredible! Today we’re prepping for the epoxy floor surfacing that starts tomorrow by removing every single piece of stuff off the floor of the warehouse: chairs, tables, magnets, tools, wood, shelves, old coffee cups, brooms, buckets of paint, redwood tree logs. Tomorrow we’ll be fighting the noise of the shot blaster as it strips the floor of old paint and gunk… but more on that then. We’re also scrounging the internet for equipment to finally gather our immediate supply needs and planning a huge handful of field trips and expert speakers for our first arc.
And the biggest, craziest news: ladies and gentlemen, we have a grand total of fourteen days until the first day of school! The two-week countdown begins…
Our architect and his team of kid and adult volunteers put up this beautiful reclaimed wood paneling on the front entrance to the school during the weekend. The wood came from an old barn in Sebastapol, and Gever drove all the way to Heritage Salvage in Petaluma to get the oddly shaped piece to make this golden construction. The first of many finished projects in the building!
We’re nearing full enrollment with our founding families and newly enrolled families together for the 2011-2012!
We’re also filling the last spots in enrollment for the fall in the 8-12 year old age range – if you yourself are an awesome kid, if you house an awesome kid in your home, or if you know an awesome kid looking for a neat place to learn, send them our way. Please write to firstname.lastname@example.org if you’re interested and we’ll arrange an interview at our space.
In this calm before the storm, we find that we need more and more assistance from our community. Our staff of four and the enthusiastic parent group are both working hard on getting the bare bones of the school ready for the first day, but we could use an extra boost of volunteer support to get things done. If you find yourself with a spare minute and an itch to do some painting, repairing, cleaning, sourcing donations of furniture and supplies or building things with your very own hands, please let us know! You can email us at email@example.com or call the school at (415) 701-8700, and we’ll look forward to seeing you here.