LAKE TWP.  Every day new changes happen with the Lake Local Schools building projects. Just a few short months ago, the district held a ground breaking for the grades second through sixth building (2-6 building) and the site development began on the seven through 12 building (7-12 building) expansion.

Now, both projects have multiple floors under roof and the interior work is progressing on time and on budget. The expansion and renovation of Hartville Elementary will begin in the spring of 2018.

The 2-6 building will be ready for students in the 2018-19 school year as will the south side of 7-12 building expansion. The east wing of the 7-12 building expansion will begin in October 2018 and students will start using it in December 2019.

Facility Project Manager John McAllister said the district is pleased with the progress and said all of the deadlines have been met so far.

"All is on time or ahead of schedule at this point and it looks like the future deadlines will also be met, everything is also on budget," McAllister said. "We’ve been able to adhere to the design of providing an almost college like environment for our students to learn in a way that’s needed for the 21st Century."

McAllister said the district will have an extended summer break in 2018 to finish the 2-6 and the 7-12 southside expansions and to get the classrooms furnished for the fall. The district is planning an online auction in May to sell off the older furnishings from the classrooms.

The pre-kindergarten through first grade students will be moved into the middle school in May 2018 in preparation of students attending classes at the building in the fall of that year. The renovation of Uniontown Elementary will begin in May 2018 and be completed by December. 

"We have stayed the course with our vision for the design of the buildings. We did a lot of research before we decided on a design for the new buildings and the renovations. We’ve visited other districts to see what they have done and gathered feedback from the community through a series of meetings. When our building projects are completed, our district will be one that is visited by other districts and possibly used as a model," McAllister said.

Following is an update for all projects:

Uniontown Elementary

- A 9,700-square-feet new addition and 49,000-square-feet renovation

- Additions include a media center, pre-school wing and gymnasium. The rest of the building will be gutted and completely renovated. 

- New playground was completed in November 2016

- The building will be vacated in May 2018 with second grade going to the new 2-6 building; pre-kindergarten through first grades will be moved to the current Lake Middle School (kindergarten and pre-school will be on the main floor with first grade located on the first floor)

- Renovations/additions will begin March 2018 and completed in December 2018

- The new renovated building will be occupied in December 2018.

2-6 Building

- 135,000-square-feet new addition

- Site development completed November 2016

- Construction began early spring 2017

- The building will be occupied during the 2018-19 school year

- The building may have a new a mailing address to be announced at a later date

- Demolition of Lake and Hartville Elementary Schools will be the Summer 2018, west to east; anticipated demolition completion will be November 2018

- Site completion is slated for winter or spring of 2019

7-12 Building

- 110,123 square feet new addition (80,000 south expansion, 30,000 east expansion) and a 64,000-square-feet renovation

- Began site development in February 2017

- The south expansion will be complete for the 2018-19 school year and grades 7-12 will occupy the building

- Renovation of the art and music wing will be summer of 2018

- The renovation of the guidance and administration offices will be the summer or fall of 2018 with occupancy in December 2018

- From August to October 2018, the demolition of the east wing will occur

- The east wing addition will be from October 2018 to December 2019

- The new entrance will face Market Avenue and building will have a new mailing address to be announced at a later date

- Demolition of the middle school will be winter or spring of 2020 with site completion in the spring of 2020

"The last phase of the entire project will be tearing down the middle school which will become parking for the high school students. There’ll be 300 new parking spaces added in that area which will be available in the 2019-20 school year. Mercy Medical and the Lake Library Branch will also have improved parking and I think everyone will be happy with the parking," McAllister said.

He said everyone at the district is getting excited. Teachers have had tours of some of the new areas. McAllister said the district has held many meetings with teachers to get feedback on designs and they’ve incorporated many of the ideas.

"We are thrilled with being able to provide the new and updated schools for our students and our teachers. All of the designs include open areas, collaborative work areas, natural lighting, new acoustics with all classrooms being carpeted. These buildings should be able to serve the district for the next 30 to 40 years," he said.