Schools Superintendent: ‘One Less Move’ Projects Are On Schedule

Work on the “One Less Move” referendum projects, such as the new Claremont Road Elementary School, are on schedule and should be ready to go by September 2018, the schools Superintendent said.

Projects conducted under the 2014 “One Less Move” referendum are coming along on schedule, the school district’s chief executive said.

That includes the biggest part of the $85 million construction package, the new Claremont Road Elementary School, schools Superintendent John Ravally said at a Sept. 14 function.

Ravally used the occasion of the ribbon cutting of new classrooms at Hillcrest Road Elementary School to bring those in attendance up-to-date on the projects’ progress.

“We are far advanced and we are moving right along with our referendum projects,” Ravally said.

The $35 million Claremont Road school is “right on schedule,” Ravally said. “You’re going to see steel up and you’re going to see the building closed in by wintertime, which is very important, because once the building is closed in, construction can continue.”

“We’re on track to open that building in September 2018,” Ravally said. “We had a very cooperative winter and were very happy about that.”

The gymnasium project at Elizabeth Avenue School should done by mid-October “and we’ll be using that space in mid-October,” he said.

“We’ve had the classroom addition that is part of that project, that will open in January,” he said. “We’ll be moving some folks out of their current classroom space into the new space, then we’ll begin the final renovations, which is renovation to classroom areas, some of which are occupied right now, a new kitchen, a new media center and cafeteria are currently under construction and those will be done hopefully by the end of this spring. So we’re making progress there and we’re on schedule as well.”

Outdoor improvements to curbing and concrete has been completed at Franklin Middle School, Ravally said.

“We moved inside and now we’re off and running there,” he said.

Renovations at the middle school will prepare it to be one of two middle school campuses beginning inteh 2018-19 school year, the other being Sampson G. Smith School.

At Franklin Park School, a walkway between the main school building and the annex – which houses the Pre-K program – is structurally finished, Ravally said.

“We still have some finish work to do, to paint and those kinds of things,” he said. “Hopefully by the end of the fall that will be through, but that’s already being utilized.

At Pine Grove Manor School, the shell for the new elevator is finished, he said, as are renovations in the bathrooms. Construction continues on the elevator installation, Ravally said.

Work at Sampson G. Smith “is essentially complete,” Ravally said.

“We renovated science labs and turned those into middle school-compliant science labs,” he said. “We built a brand-new STEM lab, that occurred last year and was complete by the summer. We renovated the main office area and built a new entrance, that is now identified as the main entrance of the school. We renovated the cafeteria, that was just inspected. The dining hall’s been open, the kitchen will come into play next week.”

“A gymnasium addition as well, locker room addition, we’re preparing that for a middle school program,” Ravally said. “The gymnasium is complete except for final finishing touches. We’ll be utilizing that space likely within the next few weeks, and then SGS will be 100 percent complete.”

Ravally said that the team planning the transition into a two-middle-school district, which is lead by MacAfee Road School principal Bill Grippo, “has been doing tremendous work.”

New school boundaries have been approved, and new bus routes are being developed, he said. Work is also continuing on staffing the new school and creating master schedules, Ravally said.

“We’re building from the ground up our new (middle school) sports program that will be 6,7 and 8,” he said.

Ravally said the district will be “ready to go” come next September.


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