GREENFIELD — Construction at Greenfield Intermediate School is expected to kick off in coming weeks as the former middle school undergoes $1.8 million of renovations.
The intermediate school, which houses fourth-, fifth- and sixth-graders is slated to receive a handful of upgrades in coming months. Contractors will relocate the main office and restructure the building to make better use of underutilized space.
District officials met with construction teams a few weeks ago and plan to select a contractor for the project this week. Construction — which is being funded by a $2 million loan the district borrowed last year — should begin shortly after, said Superintendent Harold Olin.
Construction isn’t expected to impact student instruction, with most of the work happening away from classrooms or while students are on breaks. Newsletters will be sent to parents throughout to keep them advised of where construction work is happening, principal Devon Marine told school board members last month.
The 56-year-old building served as a middle school for sixth-, seventh- and eighth-grade students until 2010, when the district converted it into an intermediate school when the district moved to a four-tier system.
At the time, renovation work focused on making the building more energy-efficient.
Since then, portions of the building that housed athletic facilities for middle school sports have gone mostly unused by their younger counterparts, leaving a significant portion of the facility underutilized.
The majority of the work will focus on two areas of the building: the south side of the school, where the front office is located now, and the north side of the structure, which houses a gymnasium and two locker rooms.
Contractors will build a new administrator office in the north end, a move educators said makes sense because that’s where the school’s largest parking lot is located and where parents pick up their children.
They’ll convert the current front office into a special education suite, equipped with restrooms and changing areas for students who need them. Right now, special education classes are conducted in standard classrooms that don’t have restrooms.
Plans call for the construction to be carried out in phases, starting with the north side of the building, which currently isn’t used often by students.
The gymnasium will be updated so it can be used by the public, and a new lobby and hall will be built to make the north side entrance the building’s primary entry.
By spring break, administrative staff hopes to move into new offices on the north side of the building.
Then construction on the south side can begin. Upgrading the office space to accommodate special education won’t take more than a few weeks, officials with the architecture firm overseeing the project said.
Construction is expected to be complete by summer.
Marine told school board members last month student safety will be a top priority during construction. Parents will be given updates by newsletters and other communications as construction moves along, he said.