Construction site work prep will start at West Elementary when children go on April vacation this year.
Joel Blumstein, who is the chair of the West Elementary/Shawsheen Preschool Building Committee, gave an update to the School Committee last Thursday to talk about the construction timeline. Currently everything is on track, he said.
The committee was hosting a public forum to show families the building’s designs Tuesday evening and will hold a forum for the school’s neighbors at 7 p.m. March 22.
After coming back from break in April students will see a yellow fence around the athletic fields where the new West Elementary and Shawsheen Preschool will be built, he said. Students will stay in their respective schools until the new school is completed.
The new West Elementary is expected to be completed by August 2024 and the new Shawsheen Preschool by August 2025, Blumstein said.
Over the summer construction on the structure will start, he said.
That’s when parents, bus drivers and other staff will see a difference.
Currently there are three parent drop-off locations at the school, but during construction that will be cut to one, he said.
Parents will enter via Beacon Street and leave the school via an access road that leads to High Plain Road, he said. That access road has been closed during recent years, but will be opened to create a one-way traffic flow for drop-offs.
Some of the playgrounds at the school will also be moved for construction, he said.
As of the last budget estimates in the fall, the project was still on target to come in at $119 million for construction costs, he said. The committee is expecting a new round of estimates this week, he said.
If the project estimates are over budget, “the building committee will have to consider value engineering items at our next meeting on the 16th,” he said. “Value engineering” is when the committee cuts pieces of the project or chooses different materials to save money.
That added step could set the committee back, but the committee is on target to turn in all of the necessary construction documents to the state, he said.