GIRARD — With the New Year comes new construction at Girard school district.
Construction began on the high school’s agriculture department on Tuesday, and will nearly quadruple the size of the department, something Principal Todd Ferguson said was a necessity.
“We have two-thirds of our student involved in the (agriculture department) in some way or another,” Ferguson said. “It’s kind of our flagship program. We have a lot of pride in it. When you have that many kids in that small of a space, it just really doesn’t work. We wanted to give them the space needed to be successful.”
The construction on the agriculture department was dependent on other projects being finished before winter break — most were completed in time — allowing the district to shift around classrooms and continue construction with little interruptions to classes.
The high school construction classroom, computer lab and an English classroom were all finished before the winter break. The middle school offices were scheduled to be finished simultaneously, but still need flooring and some cabinetry — the superintendent expects that to finish in two weeks.
Offices for the district’s school resource officer and administrators also began since the New Year.
Superintendent of Schools Blaise Bauer said the offices will be done before the school year’s end, but will not be used until fall 2016. The agriculture department will finish by late March, early April.
“And I do foresee us moving back in there before the end of the school year,” Bauer said.
The foundation for the commons area, which will provide a secure and separate entryway for the middle and high school, is nearly finished.
“We don’t have a structure yet, but it’s coming,” Bauer said.
All anticipated construction at the activity center is finished.
“That is a great asset for our community, our rec programs and our school activities,” Bauer said.
Construction at the elementary school is ongoing. But, it is starting to take shape.
“You can finally see what the outline of the school will be,” he said, adding the metal frames of the cafeteria, entryway, library and the music room are all in place.
The construction is all slated to be finished by August 2016. The projects, totaling $16 million, were approved by 80 percent of voters in an April 2014 bond.
— Michael Stavola is a staff writer at The Morning Sun. He can be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @MichaelStavola1.