Preschool moving to Granville next year

SOUTHWICK – Students attending preschool at Southwick-Tolland-Granville Regional School will be in a new location for the 2013-2014 school year.
School Superintendent Dr. John Barry said the entire preschool program will take place at the Granville Village School next year in order to accommodate renovations at Woodland Elementary School, where the preschool is normally housed.
The shift in location was planned in order to continue work on the school while school is in session, which would result in less construction time and lower cost.
“We were looking at the construction time stretching out close to three years,” said Barry. “And, we had construction starting on campus for a period of time, then having to stop for class time.”
In order to expedite the renovations, which includes system updates, the preschool will move temporarily to Granville. In addition, Woodland Principal Kim Sasso will move other classrooms to create a wing of space for construction.
“Moving the preschool frees up two classrooms and three others will be moved around within the building so five rooms can be worked on at once,” said Barry. “Then, mid-year, those rooms should be done and occupied by five other classes.”
Breaking up the construction into wings of the school will help bring the time frame for most of the renovations at Woodland down to one year.
Barry said the plan is for the preschool to return to Woodland for the 2014-2015 school year.
“It will still be the same program with the same teachers and services, just in Granville,” Barry said.
There are four half-day pre-K classes. Barry said those special education students receiving transportation will continue to have transportation to Granville. Peer partners do not receive transportation and would need to be taken to school, just as they are now.
The school department is set to go to bid on the Woodland and Powder Mill Middle School renovations in the spring of 2013. Barry said the plan for Powder Mill is “in progress.”
“We’re trying to free up spaces like the auditorium, community room and gymnasium so they can get work done while classes are in session,” said Barry.
The high school project will go to bid next summer and work will begin on the new wings while class is in session.
“It will still be a disruption,” said Barry, “We may need to move some doors, but that work will be outside the building.”
Barry said being able to work construction time into the same schedule as class time could shave a year off the entire project, which means cost savings.
“Certainly there would be a reduction for taxpayers , but it is a shared savings,” said Barry. “For every dollar saved, the Massachusetts School Building Authority would save 60 cents and the taxpayers would save 40 cents.”

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