LAKE TWP. The Lake Local Schools building project has progressed to the point of two buildings opening by the start of the 2018-19 school year, which means this summer is moving time.
The summer will be spent filling the new buildings with technology, getting teachers’ classrooms setup and moving items from the buildings scheduled for demolition to the new buildings. The moving started the week following Memorial Day.
To accommodate this flurry of activity, the district dismissed students early this spring and has scheduled a later than usual start for the next school year. Students’ last day this spring was May 18 and the first day of school in the fall will be Sept. 4.
Facility Project Manager John McAllister said that the two-six grades building will be ready for students on the first day of school as will the 7-12 grades building.
"This gives us a 15-week time frame to get the classrooms and other areas of the buildings ready for the fall start date," he said.
Students have already made up some of the time and more makeup days are scheduled next year. The district started early for the 2017-18 school year by three or four days. Plus, the winter and spring breaks this past year were reduced.
"The spring break was reduced significantly last year," McAllister said. "We usually go five to six days for spring break and last year we only had three days. We will be reducing both the winter and spring breaks again for the upcoming school year. Plus, we’ll be dismissing next year a week later on June 5."
McAllister said there are a number of late starts scheduled throughout next year and said those dates and times will be published in August. He said the district also had a number of late starts last year.
"In addition to finding the extra days on the calendar for makeup days, we far exceed the threshold for number of hours because we normally have a seven-hour school day which is a little longer than some districts," he said.
The project completion timeline includes:
- Building for two-sixth grades opens Sept. 4, 2018
- South expansion for the 7-12 building opens Sept. 4, 2018
- Preschool-first grades will start the school year in the middle school while their building continues to be renovated. The preschool-first graders will be moving back into their regular building after the December break.
- One of the last phases of the project is the east wing addition for the 7-12 grades building that will include more classrooms and a utility gym which will be available the early part of 2020.
- Demolition of some of the buildings started in June and will be complete by this fall. The middle school will be demolished the winter/spring of 2020. Some of the areas after demolition will be landscaped and some will become parking.