After starting the project early in March, given the favorable weather, the construction project remains ahead of schedule, school officials say. Half of the new two-story structure has walls and a floor laid, and crews are now working on the second half of the building, said Fruitport Community Schools Superintendent Bob Szymoniak.
The crews are also renovating the area that will be the high school’s new art and engineering/drafting rooms, and they are scheduled to be ready for the start of the new school year on Sept. 4.
“Our construction manager has done a great job physically separating the project from students,” Szymoniak said. “There are still the sounds and sight of construction that can be a distraction.”
Work on the foundation is beginning for the school’s new auditorium. That work will take crews into the new school year.
They are also working on the locker room, which should be ready in November.
The two-story building is scheduled to be occupied in December 2019, Szymoniak said. It will replace the 1950s portion of the high school and connect to the almost 20-year-old additions.
Fruitport school district voters approved the $48 million project in 2016.
Band and football practices were moved to different locations this summer because of the construction.
Although Edgewood Elementary School’s playground is smaller, it’s still large enough to accommodate the young students, Szymoniak said. He noted the school’s parent-teacher organization installed a new playground that’s ready for the new year.
Since some high school classrooms were lost because of the renovation and demolition work, some teachers might have to move to different rooms. That change will be temporary until the new rooms can be occupied, Szymoniak said.
The school’s shop class was moved to the old auditorium until its new space is completed in 2020.
“Anywhere I go in the community, I am hearing a lot of positive buzz about the project,” Szymoniak said. “I think it has had a very positive impact on the community and helped make ‘Trojan pride’ stronger than ever.”