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UPMS Middle School Nears Finish Line
Written by Bradley Schlegel, Staff Writer

           Exactly four weeks before the scheduled start of the new school year, the Upper Perkiomen School District hosted a picnic for the construction crew at the new middle

With four weeks left till the start of school, classrooms a taking


school. Board members, teachers and administrators grilled hot dogs and hamburgers and served them to the workers during their lunch hour at noon on Tuesday Aug. 6.

            Allyn Roche, the district's new superintendent, described the meal as a thank you to the construction teams for all they have accomplished so far at the facility, located on Montgomery Avenue in Upper Hanover. He also called the gesture a morale booster for them to finish the project on time.

            According to Roche, the school for sixth, seventh and eighth graders as well as the district's other project, the conversion of the old middle school in East Greenville to a fourth and fifth grade center, remain on schedule to open for the 2019-20 school year, which begins Tuesday Sept. 3. During an Aug. 8 regular board meeting, the district's

UPSD officials expect the new Middle School to be open on time.

lead administrator asked the public to display patience on both openings.

            "The start will not be perfect," Roche said. "We're doing our best."

            Meanwhile conditions inside the new middle school continue to progress. All the walls have been sealed and the air conditioning is operative. Orange tape located at the bottom of the main gymnasium doors protects a newly implemented floor. Stacks of furniture, which line the hallways and fill certain classrooms, wait to be unpacked and assembled.

            Principal Christine Siegfried says her biggest challenge with the new school will be orienting the staff and students to the facility in preparation for the new school year. Siegfried said she can't wait to get started.

            "It's very exciting," the principal said. "The building is beautiful."

            According to Roche, district officials hope to secure the use and occupancy permit from township officials by the middle of August. He wrote in a July 24 letter to district families that administrators met with the project managers at both sites and "stress the importance of getting the faculty and staff access to the buildings during the week of Aug. 26."

            According to Siegfried, the building's design will allow the district to complete the vision of providing a 21st century education and preparing the students to make a successful transition to high school. She said multiple common areas in the school will allow students to work collaboratively, interact with multiple community partners and develop interest in higher education and future career opportunities.

            "I hope the community is proud of what it has done," Siegfried said. "I hope the community is proud of what it has provided for the students."

            The new school remains under budget, according to Sandra Kassel, the district's business administrator.

            Last week, the school board voted to approve nine change orders which will be paid from the Capital Projects Funds. They included $16,412.55 to Boro Developers, Inc. for replacement of curbs and sidewalks at Montgomery Avenue and Eleventh Street; $14,548.85 to Boro Developers, Inc., and $4,027 to Albarell Electric, Inc. to provide a range and hood and modified cabinets and countertop in a Special Education room; $14,798.70 to Boro Developers for the installation of sod on the new athletic field; $14,182.00 to SNA Sports to purchase of three volleyball systems; $11,880.92 to Albarell Electric, Inc. for overtime work in March and April and $7,050.75 to Boro Developers for overtime work through June 4.





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