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Date of Issue: December 08, 2005

Anna Maria Elementary School construction timeline

A timeline for the remainder of the construction work at Anna Maria Elementary School has been released. The following is an outline of what students and the community can expect.

The auditorium is currently under renovation and is expected to be completed by March 3, 2006.

Friday, Dec. 9, is the anticipated date for the completion of the new two-story building. AME Principal Kathy Hayes said staff members are excited about the new building, which they have had the chance to walk through. She said classroom furniture and new computers have been ordered, the cabinets and carpeting are installed and the building is tiled and painted.

Dec. 12 through March 3, Building 9, the future art and music wing, will be under renovation. Teachers currently using these rooms - Debra Thomas, Karen Newhall, Heather Bosch and Kathy Grandstad - and their classes will be relocated next week to Betsy Kern's room, the guidance counseling room, media center and art room. These classes will utilize these rooms until students depart for winter vacation on Dec. 16. Art and music instruction will take place in individual classrooms.

Tuesday, Dec. 13, Armstrong Relocation will move all old items intended for the new building into trailers for fumigation. This includes boxed items, such as books and papers, and class furniture. The moving company will have four trailers located on the lawn directly in front of the school car loop.

Hayes said the process requires two days for extermination and one day for airing prior to the move into the new building, which will take place Dec. 17.

Hayes said teachers have received a great deal of support from parents to help move personal items, such as glassware, pictures and gifts from students, to the new building on Saturday, Dec. 17.

Teachers can still use more moving boxes, said Hayes, and the school is working with Publix and other local businesses to obtain more.

Jan. 2-20, demolition and clearing of the old building is scheduled. Hayes said there will only be a few noisy days on campus, and most of the time will be spent clearing the campus.

On Jan. 4, school will resume in the new building and staff parking should be reestablished on the south side of campus. The current bus loop in front of the school will not be available to parents or buses after winter break. Plans for bus and pickups and dropoffs are still under review, said Hayes, but she anticipates having a traffic-flow plan finalized by next week, in time to notify parents before winter break.

On Jan. 7, a public auction of the school's unused furniture, fixtures and miscellaneous items will be held.

All portables will be moved off campus Jan. 9 with the exception of the computer lab and music portable.

Around Feb. 1, the new K-1 playground and fenced trike path should be completed. Hayes said the construction team has ordered new multi-function pieces, which have climbing walls and slides, to add to the playground. The swings, teeter-totters and alligators will be relocated.

The new, brightly colored play equipment will be fashioned with side pieces resembling a ship's flags that have carved into them "AME" and the school mascot.

By the start of the second semester, the new covered pavilion located near the basketball court should also be completed.

Final completion of the parent parking lot, bus loop, car dropoff and renovations is projected for March 30.

Landscaping is one of the final touches, and to date it still includes plans to remove the ficus tree in front of the auditorium. Hayes has deferred inquiries about moving the tree to another part of campus to the construction building team. She said she is willing to work with any plan the construction team and arborist David Jones agrees is feasible given the constraints of the site's available space. Located behind the new school there will be a basketball court, pavilion, two playgrounds and a baseball field.

Hayes noted that it isn't easy moving mid-year and, despite the inconveniences, the AME staff "hasn't missed a beat."

Even with teachers displaced from their rooms, learning continues, she says, and some classes will take learning on the road utilizing the time for educational field trips.

"Our staff hasn't missed a beat and instruction has still been quality instruction," Hayes said. "There are no concerns there."

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