PELHAM — The Pelham Memorial School construction project is on schedule, including interior work and plans to open a new gym and several classrooms in the fall.

Taxpayers voted on the $32 million project for major additions and renovations back in March 2021. Construction officially began in August 2021 and is scheduled for completion in June 2024.

The project is in phase five, meaning 47% complete, according to the Pelham School District website.

Superintendent Chip McGee told the Pelham School Board on Jan. 18 that some of the new spaces are projected to be ready this fall.

Students will have access then to the new, full-sized gymnasium and its bathrooms and a new student entrance hallway. Band, general music and art rooms, along with a few others, are also slated to open later in 2023.

The old gymnasium will be used as a newly renovated cafeteria for the 2023-24 academic year. The old cafeteria will be renovated to serve as the new library.

The original school building is being worked on during the 2023-24 school year. One floor at a time is set for renovations with the goal of fewer disruptions for students.

The science towers likely won’t be available for most of next school year with the renovations taking place, McGee said.

Modular buildings will continue to be used to make up for lacking classroom space.

He said construction on the new school addition is progressing with an “enormous amount” of interior work.

While work continues on the building’s roofing, the addition’s interior walls and door frames are in the process of being dry-walled, primed and painted.

Once that’s completed, “the finished work on the mechanical systems of electrical and plumbing will come on very quickly afterwards,” McGee said.

The new administration and nurse sections in the front of the new building are also “coming along very rapidly at this point,” he said.

McGee told The Eagle-Tribune that the school district, along with the construction and project management teams, have worked hard to keep the project on budget.

The team has stuck to the original plan set forth in 2021, despite rising construction costs and supply chain issues.

It remains a hard task, the superintendent said.

This included modifications on curbing and sidewalks around the school to use asphalt. The change now matches Pelham Elementary School’s design next door and will save $15,000.

McGee understands it will be a busy year to ensure construction stays on schedule, but he told the board, “there’s a lot of aggressive work that needs to be done to make sure that happens.”

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