LEETONIA Work advances on school building

Parents will likely have the option of sending kindergarten pupils to school all day.
LEETONIA -- School officials here intend to start the 2002-03 school year in the district's new kindergarten-through-12th-grade facility.
Roofing, masonry, plumbing and electrical work are some of the more visible signs of progress toward that end. Less visible, however, is the work being done by administrators at the junior-senior high and Washingtonville and Orchard Hill elementaries to adapt the curriculum and the classroom assignments to the new building.
Schools Superintendent Thomas Inchak said all-day kindergarten will likely be an option for parents. He said the kindergarten space was designed with all-day kindergarten in mind.
"I think the feeling is that although the state doesn't mandate all-day kindergarten yet, that will happen soon," Inchak said.
Inchak said the board of education hasn't made a decision about kindergarten sessions, but parents will likely have the option of either half-day or all-day sessions.
The new school near the Orchard Hill site on Walnut Street will bring all the district's nearly 900 pupils to one location.
Building layout: The cafeteria-auditorium, administrative offices and gymnasium will be in the center. Middle school and high school pupils will be in the two-story wing with ninth through 12th grades on the second floor. Elementary pupils will be in a one-story wing opposite the central area.
Inchak said contractors told him this week all facets of construction are progressing on schedule, and the building should be finished and an occupancy permit granted in time for pupils to begin the school year in the new building.
The central area and elementary wing are under roof and workers are laying floor tile, installing drywall and lockers, he said.
"It will probably be muddy," Inchak said. "I can't imagine we'll have the lawns and landscaping done, but we should be in there."
School calendar: Inchak said that the 2002-03 school-year calendar has not been set yet but that classes will likely begin sometime during the last week of August.
If there are minor construction delays, the start date could be adjusted so pupils can start the year in the new buildings, he said.
The school board is also beginning to consider options for the Washingtonville Elementary and the junior-senior high buildings, he said.
Orchard Hill will be demolished to make room for parking at the new school.
Inchak said surveying and other work is being done at the Washingtonville Elementary and junior-high school buildings to determine value. The buildings could be sold or torn down.

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