Checking progress of school construction

Marshall school board members take a tour of Park Side and new elementary building

Photo by Deb Gau From left, Jeff Chapman, Dion Caron and Matt Coleman look inside the gymnasium under construction at the Southview Elementary School site. Marshall School Board members toured construction at Southview Elementary and Park Side Elementary.

MARSHALL — Major construction at Marshall Public Schools is making good progress, school board members learned Monday.

As part of their regular meeting, board members toured both Park Side Elementary, where early education classrooms are being added to the building, and the construction site for the new Southview Elementary.

Construction is on track to have the Southview Elementary building enclosed by November, said MPS Business Services Director Dion Caron. Then, interior work can continue through the winter. Construction is anticipated to be finished next summer.

“It’s going to be exciting,” to see the new school finished, said school board chairman Jeff Chapman.

On Monday, board members saw more walls are up at Southview, as well as some of the interior support beams and second-story floors in the academic wing of the school. Caron walked board members through what will become Southview’s media center, cafeteria, music room and gymnasium.

The completed school building will have large windows facing toward Southview Drive, Caron said. The windows will provide plenty of natural light inside the school’s media center, which will be surrounded by classrooms and learning areas.

The completed building will have second-grade classrooms on the first floor, third-grade classrooms on the second floor, and fourth-grade classrooms on both floors.

Caron said grading work for drainage and sidewalks will continue outside the school building. Eventually, pedestrians along Southview Drive will have an uninterrupted sidewalk again, he said.

The main sidewalk leading up to the new school will be set back from the main driveway. Caron said concrete for new sidewalks will be poured next spring.

Construction at Park Side has given the school a new look for students and visitors, said Principal Darci Love.

“We aren’t finished with everything,” Love said, but a new office entry and security updates were in place for the start of class. Instead of having to walk through the school to reach the Park Side office, parents can now directed straight into the front office through a door in the main vestibule.

While there are currently no visitors or volunteers coming to Park Side because of COVID-19 precautions, the renovations included security updates like a video buzz-in system and panic buttons, she said.

Love said the renovations have also replaced some of the old and damaged pavement outside Park Side, updated the front offices and nurse’s office, extended a firewall and added new fire doors.

But the bigger part of construction at Park Side, the addition of new early childhood education classrooms and offices, is still in progress.

“They are nice sized classrooms,” arranged around a central open play area, Love said.

“It looks a lot bigger than it does driving by,” said school board member Matt Coleman, as the board walked through the addition.

When school board members visited on Monday afternoon, they could see the addition will have an entryway in a matching style with the main school entry. Mockups of brick showed the addition will also match with the original school building.

“It’s coming along. It’s going to be really nice,” Love said of the addition.


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