Staff and faculty at New York Elementary School receive Teamwork Award

Richard Gwin/Journal World-Photo. New York Elementary School staff receives a check for ,000 from (left) Tim Mock, business development officer for Truity Credit Union, as part of the Teamwork Award given to them by the Lawrence school district on Wednesday May 6, 2015.

The staff and faculty at New York Elementary School have had to jump through a number of hoops this school year while construction crews worked on $5.7 million of improvements. Leaky ceilings, jackhammering, dust, a small fire — you name it.

That’s why the Lawrence school district recognized the building’s employees with the annual Teamwork Award on Wednesday.

“You’ve purged, packed, unpacked, moved, put things away, moved backwards, put things away again,” Superintendent Rick Doll said in front of 22 faculty and staff members. “We appreciate the flexibility. Most importantly you’ve turned it into as positive a situation as it could be.”

The award comes with a $1,000 prize for the school, which can spend it on anything building administrators want. Principal Nancy DeGarmo wasn’t yet sure where it would go.

As part of the $92.5 million bond issue to improve schools in the district, there are several other buildings going through construction comparable to that at New York. But Doll said the people in those buildings, like Cordley and Hillcrest elementary schools, were moved into temporary spaces outside the building, away from the construction.

New York’s construction is due for completion in August. The addition of new rooms for kindergarten, art and music classes is complete, while other interior and landscaping work remains.

DeGarmo told the Journal-World in April that art and music teachers haven’t had a room of their own all year and other teachers have been on the move often.

“It’s a morale boost,” DeGarmo said of the award.