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Chesapeake Middle School construction shaping up

CHESAPEAKE – The Panthers will soon have a new home.

Thursday, January 10, 2002

CHESAPEAKE – The Panthers will soon have a new home. Three years ago, district residents passed a $2.4 million maintenance levy securing state funds for the school system. Residents will soon be able to see a payout on the project next school year.

That’s when Chesapeake Middle School students will enter their new building, replacing the one now used for the middle school. Currently, middle school students are housed in the old high school that was built in 1955. The old high school was replaced about 12 years ago when a new high school was constructed.

Chesapeake superintendent Fred Wood said the new middle school will contain a 3,000 square-foot cafeteria, central heating and air, more classrooms and a library. In a previous interview, Wood said that the school will be designed for middle school students using age-appropriate furniture. Wood said the new middle school will also provide a safer and cleaner environment.

He added the new building will instill more pride in the school and make a better learning environment.

Wood said the building is currently under roof and there is temporary heat in the building. He said that over the next few weeks, workers will paint the halls and classrooms and install the ceiling grid. He said the bathrooms will then be finished and final touches will be put on the school in order to have the building open and running by this fall.

Then, elementary students will use the current middle school as a temporary home until construction is completed on the new elementary. Wood said he hopes the district will be "laying block by November."

Wood said construction is shaping up at the high school. Two new classrooms, an elevator and an extension of the band room is almost complete. He said new carpet, new lighting, a sprinkler system, new ceilings and a new heating and air unit were installed at the high school over the summer.

Wood said the projects at the high school should have been completed "a long time ago," and the district is urging the contractor to finish up as soon as possible.

The final project, Wood said, is to destroy the existing middle school and prepare the site as a parking lot for the high school and the new middle school.