Jul. 14—MANCHESTER — The old Memorial Elementary School building will be gone by the end of the summer.
Demolition began on June 28 and is expected to last until the end of July, according to Avi Urbas, the Manchester Essex Regional School District's director of finance and operations.
"We are very happy that the project continues to roll along on time and on budget," he continued via email. "It's coming out great."
Back in June 2019, contractors with W.T. Rich Company demolished the school's C-Wing in order to make room for the new, two-story academic building. When schoolchildren returned to class in the March during the COVID-19 pandemic, they studied in the new academic building while still utilizing the old Memorial's gym, cafeteria and select classrooms.
"With regard to the pandemic, we had a brief pause to work last spring while protocols were being developed by the state and our team in response," said Urbas. "That resolved fairly quickly, and having students remote last spring actually helped us to accelerate the schedule in some aspects.
By the next school year, schoolchildren will be completely moved into the new building. Another round of demolition last summer paved way for the main atrium, two pre-kindergarten classrooms with their own side entrance, media lab and music room, administrative offices and a combined cafeteria, gymnasium and auditorium. This final portion of the new school is expected to be completed in August, said Urbas.
With the old school down, contractors will have enough room to begin the final phase of the project — a new driveway loop and parking lot that extends off the existing school driveway.
"This should allow for many more cars that queue during pickup/drop-off to come off of Lincoln Street which will be a great benefit for traffic," said Urbas. "It should be completed by the end of the calendar year.
Michael Cronin may be contacted at 978-675-2708, or firstname.lastname@example.org.