Work is moving along at the new Meadow Lane Elementary School site after cold weather and snow kept crews away for a few weeks.
Tim Harrell, director of project operations for Wayne County Public Schools, said Wednesday that the new school is around 20 percent complete. That puts the project about a month behind schedule, but the delay should not be a problem for long, Harrell said.
"Because of the cold weather, we had about two and a half weeks where the crews couldn't pour concrete, because you can't pour concrete when it's that cold," he said. "I've spoken with the masons, and they are confident that if we get some pretty days they can make it up, because it won't take long to lay the bricks."
Harrell said that the school is expected to be ready near the end of 2018.
"Right now, we hope to be able to take ownership of the building in December of 2018, and move in over winter break," he said. "Then, we would have our kids in the building by Jan. 1 of 2019, or whenever they come back from break."
So far, the school's foundations are mostly complete, and trusses for the roof sections over large sections of the building will go up within a week. Crews are still finishing up pouring concrete for eight additional classrooms, which the Wayne County Board of Commissioners approved in 2017, Harrell said.
The majority of the old Meadow Lane School is still in operation, although crews had to demolish part of it where the new building's footprint overlapped with the old building. Harrell said that the old school will not be taken out of commission until the new building is fully constructed and then inspected.
"We won't demolish the old building until the new building is ready to go," he said. "For instance, if the kitchen is for some reason not operational because of some inspection and the ladies can't cook the food in there, we would obviously need the kitchen in the old building to cook the food."
The new Meadow Lane will have 48 classrooms, Harrell said, including the eight extra rooms. That number also includes specialized art and music rooms, as well as a dedicated science lab, which Harrell said is the first of its kind in Wayne County.
Harrell said project managers are also in the process of finalizing some aesthetic choices for the school, including interior colors and exterior brickwork. He said that a leading option is to coordinate the look of the school with the nearby multisport complex expected to open later this year.