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According to the Los Alamos Board of Education, all Los Alamos Middle School students should be in their new school, all settled in and learning by Sept. 17.
A lot has to happen before then however, including a “transition plan” carried out by school and McCarthy construction officials.
Before the motion was approved however, the board assured the school’s principal, Rex Kilburn, he could structure the move any way he wants as long as they hit the target date of Sept. 17.
Kilburn expressed concerns that any last-minute move would not give the teachers enough time to adjust to their new surroundings. He alluded to the physical structure and layout of the school, which was designed to offer stronger connections between students and teachers while at the same time, offering a community feel to the educational experience.
“No insults intended here… but it’s not just cracking open a box, throwing stuff on a shelf and boom, we go. There are strong considerations here concerning this new school that we designed,” Kilburn told the board. “We are sharing space that has never been done before at the level that we are going to do it at this middle school.”
Board President Jim Hall assured Kilburn that they could take all the time they needed.
“One, the board isn’t saying two or three days (to move). We’re saying the 17th,” Hall said. Hall reminded everyone at the meeting that the school has obtained a temporary certificate of occupancy from the state, so they can start to move in this week.
“My interpretation of the motion is that this gives staff considerable flexibility on how it meets the deadline,” he said at the meeting.
However, the board did acknowledge there is probably going to be two or three days where students probably won’t be attending school, and so requested of the administration they make those days known to parents well in advance. That announcement is due sometime this week, with allowances made for Yom Kippur. Check the Los Alamos Monitor for details as school officials release more information.
Between now and the Sept. 17, McCarthy Construction will be working to make the building safe and habitable for students, according to McCarthy Site Manager Mike Horn.
Major things that need to be done include work to the front parking lot as the portables are gradually moved out, balancing the heating and air conditioning systems as well as testing the fire equipment and positioning fire extinguishers throughout the building.
Recently, McCarthy turned on the gas, power and water to the building without any difficulties.
Landscaping and additional architectural details should keep McCarthy on the site until mid- November, according to Horn.