The new Meadow Lane Elementary School is nearing completion with another rite of passage ticked off the list this past week — the last performance in the gymnasium before it is razed.

Students from the multiage classes, grades K-1 and 1-2, filed in and took their place on the risers Thursday morning for their musical production of “Hats.”

The themed performance, directed by music teacher Matilda Marriner, reflected the message, “Your hat might be a great work of art, but what counts is what’s in your head and your heart,” the program said.

Any day now, the gym will be history, officials said.

At the school board’s recent facilities committee meeting, director of project operations Tim Harrell provided an update on the newest construction project, which will officially open to students in the fall.

“We’re finalizing moving plans, trying to make sure we’re prepared for when teachers leave June 14, I believe,” he said.

The timeline also allows for teachers and staff to remove everything from the building and have access during the summer to set up classrooms.

Board member Rick Pridgen asked if there might be any sort of open house for the public to come in and tour the building.

Harrell said it is a possibility, but in the meantime an opportunity is being planned for the children to get a glimpse at their new classrooms before going home for the summer.

“And then maybe we could potentially do something for parents, so parents can see what their children are returning to,” he said. “We have definitely had conversations about what we can do for the children, to excite them. The fun comes in the last three weeks of May.”

The district should have a certificate of occupancy in early May, Harrell said.

The 109,000-square-foot building will replace the original school building, which opened in 1956. The older building was 65,000 square feet in scope. The campus occupies a 22-acre site.

Site and demolition plans for the construction project near Seymour Johnson Air Force Base were approved by the Goldsboro Planning Commission in 2017.

They called for the school at 3500 E. Ash St. to remain open throughout the process of building the new $20 million school, which will provide 41 classrooms.

Harrell praised the process, in terms of both the project and the price tag.

“We’re going to be right on the money— we’re not going over,” he told the committee. “We will still have a little money left in the allowance, in case we encounter anything. We should come out under budget.

“We have had really good onsite construction. We’re in the short rows. We have about $2 million left to pay in our installments, and of course, contingency if there’s anything we have concerns about.”