School expansion on time

Steamboat Middle School project also on budget

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Architectural blueprints are no longer needed to get a feel for the expansion project at Steamboat Springs Middle School, where construction is on schedule and meeting its budget.

Construction superintendent Jim Lorenz and school district Facilities Director Rick Denney gave a tour of the project Friday to several middle school teachers, middle school Principal Tim Bishop and Superintendent Donna Howell.

Steel studs frame the expansion's layout, which features six classrooms, a bathroom and a mechanical room. The corridor leading from the main building to the expansion site will be lined with windows, as will a sunroom-like feature at the project's far end.

The building will have its own heating and air-conditioning system, and partitions in the classrooms will allow six regular-size rooms to become three large ones.

Lorenz said a rough inspection of the work could take place within the next two weeks, after which insulation and drywall can be installed.

"It looks great," Denney said. "I'm real happy with the progress we're making."

Denney said he anticipated teachers and students will occupy the building in early January.

Sixth-grade math and science teacher Matt Anderson is excited about the expansion -- one of the new classrooms will be his. His new science room will have gas hook-ups for experiments, tile floors and fire-resistant tables, he said.

The expansion project is expected to cost $1.6 million and is funded by the Education Fund Board. About 8,700 square feet will be added to the school.

The space is needed to establish pods for each grade level and to foster a true middle school environment featuring schools within a school, said middle school administrators and members of the Fund Board's Capital Commission when originally requesting the funds for the project.

The expansion also will enhance teaming among the school's faculty and lend more of a community atmosphere for students, the commission said.

-- To reach Brent Boyer call 871-4234

or e-mail bboyer@steamboatpilot.com

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