SUMMIT — Board members inspected the ongoing renovation of Boyd County Middle School on Tuesday, and aside from a few grumbles about tile choices in a hallway, comments were overwhelmingly laudatory.
“I’m pleased and excited with the progress. It will change the whole dynamics of the school. It’s going to be great for the kids,” said board chairman Bob Green.
Board members and administrators toured the building under the guidance of construction project leaders. They walked through completed, or almost completed, sections, including gleaming science labs, classrooms, locker areas, restrooms and the gymnasium.
Project leaders gave progress reports on ongoing and future phases of the renovation. The current phase, scheduled for completion by April, includes the front office complex, a block of classrooms at the back of the school and a home economics classroom in the former band space.
The office complex had been scheduled for a later phase, but was moved up when contractors elected to delay another step — filling in the Little Theater area adjacent to the cafeteria, according to project manager Ridge Bentley.
Offices and a reception area will be at the building’s front, which is being enlarged to add space.
After that, work will turn to another classroom block to be ready by summer.
During the summer break, the cafeteria and kitchen will be overhauled.
The summer phase will pack a lot of work into eight weeks and coordination and tight scheduling are critical, Bentley said. In addition to the cafeteria and kitchen, the Little Theater will be leveled and work will be done on the roof and parking lot.
The final phase involves moving the library to the center of the building. The library will be larger and have glass walls similar to those at Boyd County High School.
“It will be a 21st-century media center, a learning center at the center of the school. It’s been a successful concept at the high school,” said educational facility planner Kevin Cheek of the Sherman Carter Barnhart architectural firm that designed the renovation.
Also in the final phase will be more classrooms and the relocated band and art rooms.
The phased renovation allows classes to continue by shifting students to completed sections so work can commence in other parts of the building. The sixth grade has been moved to the old high school, now called the Heritage Building, for the duration. Sections under construction are blocked for safety by temporary walls.
“They’re flexible. The kids are loving their new spaces. They go with the flow,” said Principal Kimberly Fitch.
The renovation is scheduled for completion in mid-December, but the sixth grade will remain at the Heritage Building until the end of the 2017-18 school year rather than put students through the disruption of a move, Superintendent Brock Walter said.
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