Southwick school project on target

SOUTHWICK – The Southwick-Tolland-Granville Regional School district is on target with the school project timeline, said Superintendent John Barry.
Barry told the regional school committee this week that the timeline was “not carved in stone,” but it was the best projection they have right now.
“We are in pretty good shape,” he said. “The design (for Woodland and Powder Mill schools) was submitted to the MSBA (Massachusetts School Building Authority) and we are in the construction design phase.”
Design continues on the combined middle and high school.
“We should have the 60-percent design going to the MSBA tomorrow or the day after,” Barry said Tuesday.
The elementary and transitional school project is set to go out to bid April 1, with a bid on the middle/high school planned for this summer.
“There won’t be any beginning construction at the high school this summer, but there will be at Powder Mill and Woodland,” Barry said, adding that there could be the start of construction at the high school in the fall of 2013.
“We will start with the construction of the new square footage at the middle/high school,” he added.
Last month the committee approved a shift in classes at the elementary and middle school in order to accommodate construction during the school year. This, said Barry, would expedite the project and save money.
The preschool program at Woodland School will be moved to the Granville Village School for the 2013-2014 school year.  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.
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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