Construction of Central Elementary expansion running ahead of schedule
Published 10:16 am Monday, May 9, 2016
Despite recent rainy weather, construction on the Central Elementary School classroom expansion is running ahead of schedule.
“Everything seems to be going exceptionally well,” said Central Elementary Principal Terry Morley, adding the project manager told him the process is running “a little ahead of schedule.”
“Keith Carrier is the project manager on this and he has done an outstanding job,” Morley said. The principal said he is particularly pleased with Carrier’s dedication to maintaining safety and security for the students by putting up fencing and developing routine procedures with all delivery drivers who come onto school property.
The construction project, with an bid cost of $1.5 Million, will help to relieve overcrowding at the school by building a six-classroom expansion onto the school. The new expansion will also eliminate the use of modular classrooms at the school.
Removing the modular classrooms was the first step in the construction process. One of the modular units is being moved to Keenburg Elementary to help address overcrowding issues there. The remaining modulars were demolished in March to allow construction crews to begin prepping the ground where the units once stood for the construction of the new school wing.
Removing the modular units meant some adjustments for Central Elementary teachers, staff and students as they work to finish out the school year.
“We have temporarily combined our K, 1 and 2 classrooms to remove the modulars,” Morley said.
The arrangement is temporary and will remain in place until construction is complete and the new classrooms open. When the project bid was awarded, school officials were hopeful the project would be completed and the classrooms ready for use by Thanksgiving or Christmas.
With all of the Kindergarten students in one class, all of the first graders in a single class and all of the school’s second graders in one class, things are a bit crowded, but Morley applauded the efforts of the school’s teachers and staff to make everything work out.
“The teachers are doing an excellent job of co-teaching and working together,” Morley said.
He pointed to his first grade classrooms as an example as long-time Central Elementary teachers Cora Sue Pike and Michelle Gourley are sharing the teaching duties. Pike has taught at Central since 1970 and Gourley has been a teacher at the school since 1978.
“I’ve got 84 years of teaching experience in one room,” Morley said.
Both Pike and Gourley said they enjoy working together and don’t feel it has been a major interruption to teaching the students.
“It’s been great,” Gourley said. “We work hard, but we’re getting a lot done.”
While having so many students together in a single classroom could prove to be a challenge, it is a challenge the two teachers are prepared to face.
“You have to be organized and you have to know what you’re doing,” Pike said, adding the years of experience she and Gourley have in the classroom has helped them know what to do and how to handle the challenge. “We work great together.”