Beaty-Warren Middle School will have its full complement of students back for the start of the 2013-2014 school year.
The school is undergoing a major renovation.
The entire sixth grade was moved out of the sixth through eighth facility for the 2012-2013 school year to make way for Phase I of the two-phase project.
Times Observer photos by Brian Ferry
Work in progress
Dozens of workers advance the progress at Beaty-Warren Middle School daily. A small group instructional area takes shape on the second floor (top), a temporary wall with locking door separates the construction from the education (above middle), and (above) Plumbing Foreman Dan Coletta (left) examines the plan for a seventh grade room with Plumber Dan Webster, both of William T. Spaeder Contracting of Erie.
With the project scheduled to be finished in January, 2014, about four months of Phase II will be completed with all hands on deck.
A temporary wall with a lock that requires a key from each side separates the work and the workers from the students.
On one side of that wall are hundreds of students going about their school days. On the other are workers - 35 to 45 a day - hammering, cutting, drilling and generally making loud sounds and lots of dust.
Those workers are also making progress.
"I'm happy with the progress," Dr. Norbert Kennerknecht, Warren County School District director of buildings and grounds services, said.
He credits the pace of that progress to the collective efforts a group of workers working for different companies in different areas of expertise. "We have a really good crew," he said. "All trades are on board. We're all pulling in the same direction."
With many similar spaces the pace could increase as the workers become more practiced at the particulars.
Project Architect Budd Mracna of WTW Architects and Jay Myers, who was hired as clerk-of-the-works on Monday, were on site Thursday.
"It's turning out the way I pictured it," Mracna said.
The project would not have happened without the support of the school board.
"Without their foresight and wisdom in taking the bull by the horns with a deteriorating building, we'd be nowhere," Kennerknecht said. "We can't do anything without the board. They saw the advantage of millions of dollars of no-interest loan."
The project is being funded by about $16 million in Qualified Zone Academy Bond funds.
"Without interest, the value to the taxpayers and community is enormous," he said.
With South Street Early Learning Center closing and shipping two grades to Warren Area Elementary Center, Beaty has to be ready for full occupancy, there just will not be room for sixth grade at WAEC.
Other major projects in the district will begin soon.
Bids were awarded Monday for work at Eisenhower Middle High School.
"We're getting ready to launch that," Kennerknecht said. "That's going to be a complicated, tight-scheduled project."
He hopes the project at Sheffield Area Middle High School will go to bid in March.