“There’s a lot of work going on down there right now,” said Superintendent Jeff Pancione last Thursday about the gym’s construction, adding that the metal frame of the structure should be here by July.
Treasurer Denise Hott added that the construction should be done in December, and that the construction crews – as of right now – are 2 weeks ahead of schedule, though that could be affected in the upcoming months by inclement weather.
Last Thursday, Pancione brought in members of the original 10-year-plan committee, mostly made up of current Hampshire County teachers, service personnel and administrators, to update them about the necessary cuts made to the designs of the 3 new schools.
These cuts included eliminating the STEM labs, shrinking the roof surface area, bringing the hallways down from 8 feet wide to 7 feet wide and adjusting the types of materials used for the exterior of the building, electing for less expensive options.
Pancione emphasized that while the school board had to cut almost $12 million from the original designs of the buildings, they were able to do so without reaching into instructional areas (for example, the board insisted on keeping 750-square-foot classrooms and regulation-size gyms in the West and Central schools).
Last November, the board took the 1st official step toward a new gym at CBES, and they accepted a $2,305,000 bid from Harbel Inc., a Cumberland-based construction company in The Belt Group.
In the gym’s original design, the gym was just shy of regulation-size by a few feet. The board voted to expand the size, meaning that CBES and the new West and Central schools will have full-sized gyms for both the schools and the community to use. North Elementary (to be located in Slanesville) will have a smaller gymnasium.