Construction FAQ

About Construction of the New Havens Elementary School

What can neighbors expect during this project?

This project, like similar demolition and construction projects, will create noise and necessitate the coming and going of workers and trucks and other large vehicles during work hours.  The project team will make every effort to be considerate of and mitigate the impacts on immediate neighbors.  The project team will provide neighbors with a monthly newsletter with information about what to expect during each phase of the project, and will respond promptly to any questions and concerns received.
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What are the work hours for this project?

The standard construction hours allowed by the City of Piedmont are: 8:00 am to 6:00 pm Monday through Saturday; and 9:00 am to 5:00 pm on Sunday.  These are likely to be the work hours through August, 2009.  The work hours will be reduced after the start of the 2009-2010 school year.

During the coming year, there will be extensive construction at both Piedmont High School and Havens.  While Havens is relocated to Emeryville, and while demolition and construction are underway at the Havens site, PHS will relocate some of its classrooms and facilities to portable classrooms on the Havens site.  The PHS portables will be placed as far as possible from the area of active construction, where the closed “wings” are currently located.  Given that the portables must be ready for use by PHS by the first day of the 2009-2010 school year, there is an ambitious schedule to complete asbestos and lead abatement, demolish the existing building and wings, construct the new campus’ underground infrastructure, prepare the site for portables, and reconfigure and relocate the portables for use by PHS.

To meet this schedule, the project team may need to work the maximum number of hours permitted by the City of Piedmont during July and August 2009.  The project team anticipates that the work hours will decline after the PHS portables are completed.
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When will demolition begin?

Although site preparation will begin June 15, actual demolition will begin June 29.
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How will the project impact parking around the Havens site?

There will be five dedicated parking spaces for the construction.  These are currently white-zone spaces on Highland Avenue and Oakland Avenue.There will be signs indicating that these five parking spaces are dedicated for the project team.  Subcontractors will have off-site parking (for example, City staff suggested that subcontractors park on Moraga Avenue along the cemetery wall), with shuttle service to and from the Havens site.
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What can be done to mitigate construction-related noise?

It is unavoidable that demolition and construction are noisy.  To reduce noise and mitigate the impact on neighbors, the project team will use the quietest equipment available and load and unload all trucks on the site (rather than on the street alongside the site).

The first two weeks of demolition (the first and second weeks of July 2009) will be the noisiest phase of the project.
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Will there be a fence enclosing the Havens site?

There will be a six-foot-high fence enclosing the entire site during demolition and construction.  There will be four construction access gates, one on each side of the site, that will be locked during non-working hours.  Only authorized construction personnel will be permitted inside the fenced area.  No visitors will be permitted on the site.
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What can be done to reduce and control dust and pollution?

The project team will use standard construction practices to control dust and pollution.  Specifically, the team will use water to keep the site wet and thereby reduce dust.  The team will also implement and maintain a Storm Water Pollution Prevention Program to filter dirt and debris from water that flows from the site into the storm sewer system.  In addition, there will be a fabric mesh attached to the construction fence to help prevent dust from migrating off the site.
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What can be done to reduce the potential problem of rats at the site?

The Project Team has not had any indication that there is a rodent problem at the Havens site.Two of the buildings are on slabs and the third had protective screening installed at the foundation openings several years ago.  If a rodent problem is discovered, an exterminator will be retained immediately.  The Project Team has substantial experience addressing rodent problems and will actively and continually monitor the site for evidence of potential problems.
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Will there be security guards at the site?

No.  Each contractor and subcontractor is responsible for securing its own tools and materials, and all gates will be locked during non-working hours.

Some neighbors expressed concern over the theft of copper pipe from Havens after the existing portables were installed.  Please note that this theft occurred after construction was completed, and when there were no locked gates encircling the site.
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When will the new playfield be installed?  Will the field be artificial or natural turf?

The new playfield will be installed after the end of the 2009-2010 school year, after the PHS portables are removed from the Havens site.  Please note that the Becker Design calls for artificial turf.  However, because the turf will not be installed until the end of the 2009-2010 school year, the District has time to consider alternatives.  In the Fall of 2009, the District will solicit public comment on the use of natural and artificial turf, as well as on the rules and restrictions for use of the new playfield.
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Will there be regular communication with neighbors?

Starting in July, the project team will issue a monthly newsletter informing neighbors of what to expect in the coming month.  The newsletter may also include photographs showing progress of the project.  In addition, there will be a webcam on site and photographs will be available for viewing on the District”’s website.  If you would like to receive the newsletter and notice of future meetings with the Project Team, please email
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What if I have questions or concerns about the project?

All inquiries about the project should be addressed to
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What if there is an emergency at the construction site after work hours?

Neighbors and other members of the public should call City dispatch (510-420-3000) to report any emergency about the construction site.If the emergency is within the City’s responsibility (for example, if there is a fire on the site) City staff will respond.If the emergency is related to the construction (for example, if there is a break-in at the site) City staff will contact the Project Team.
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