SHOWELL – The Worcester County Commissioners joined school system officials to tour the construction site of the future Showell Elementary School this week.
On Tuesday, the commissioners joined Superintendent Lou Taylor and more than a dozen school system leaders for a visit to the Showell construction site. The new school, which is being built behind the existing building, is expected to be complete by September 2020.
“It’s been pretty smooth sailing so far,” Taylor said.
After being discussed for years, construction of a new school to replace the decades-old existing facility on Route 589 began last fall with site clearing. Trees were cleared behind the current building to make way for the new 98,000-square-foot facility. In the months since, the building itself has begun to go up.
“We’re really excited,” Taylor said during this week’s tour.
He said he was amazed at the progress that had been made in just the five weeks since he’d offered a previous tour. Nevertheless, he acknowledged that there was an abundance of work that still had to be done in order for the school to open in the fall of 2020. As soon as the school 2019-2020 school year ends, crews will have just the summer months to demolish the existing school and get a new bus loop built so that the new facility can open in September.
“The challenging part’s going to be next August,” Taylor said. “There’s not a minute we can let go.”
Taylor credited Showell’s teachers and administrators for their patience during the construction process, but pointed out that it would be worth the wait, as the school would nearly double in size. Fourth grade, which Showell hasn’t been able to accommodate in recent years, is expected to move from Berlin Intermediate School (BIS) back to Showell once the new building is complete.
“We’re hoping that eliminates the trailers at BIS,” he said.
Taylor said that toward the end of the planning process for the new school, officials had also added a wing for pre-kindergarten onto the building’s plans in order to prepare for the future.
“At least one of our schools will be ready when it’s mandated by the state,” he said.
Taylor thanked Oak Contracting’s Bill Moschler and Becker Morgan Group’s Brad Hastings, who led Tuesday’s tour.
“It’s been a great project so far,” Taylor said. “Keep it going and get us open next September.”