Students Return to Class as Girard School Undergoes Renovations - Erie News Now | WICU & WSEE in Erie, PA

Students Return to Class as Girard School Undergoes Renovations

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Better late than never for more than 400 middle school students in Girard, returning to school this week.

All while their building, Rice Avenue Middle School, is undergoing heavy renovations.

Tuesday was the first day back in the classroom for the 5th through 7th graders.

Principal, David Koma, said renovations started back in May and are ongoing.

Koma said for now, kids are being re-routed around the construction.

The whole second floor is closed, including the 8th grade wing.

As a result, 8th grade students were moved to Girard high school this year.

Ahead of the first day, parents had the chance to check out the school in it's current state.

"It was probably the largest crowd I've ever seen here at the district in 15 years," said Koma.  "I think a large part of that was, they wanted to make sure their kids were safe.  And they wanted to make sure we were ready.  I think they received conformation on both those points," he said.

Updates to Rice Avenue middle school will include larger cafeteria and library spaces as well as a wing for 5th and 6th graders, separate from the 7th and 8th grade wing.

The district is also centralizing classrooms for fine arts classes.

"It's great because regardless of where you are in the building, if you're in the secondary wing or you're on the top floor because you're in 6th grade, you'll be able to access all of those programs," said Koma.

The project has an $18 million dollar price tag and is expected to wrap up by Fall of 2016.

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