Middle school work on schedule

$15.3M project at Mars building

July 3, 2019 Cranberry Local News

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The Mars Middle School renovation project to upgrade the 50-year-old school is on schedule.

ADAMS TWP — As soon as students walked out the door of Mars Middle School on their way to summer break earlier this month, demolition crews walked in to begin a major renovation project.

According to Superintendent Wesley Shipley, that project to upgrade the 50-year-old school is on schedule with crews working hard to keep that timeline.

The $15.3 million project includes a new roof, new lighting, new paint, a new gym floor and kitchen serving area as well as HVAC improvements. The floor in the building's common area will be leveled to allow for easier flow through the building, and six specialty classrooms will be created. These classrooms will be clustered in groups of six rooms throughout the building to make learning “houses,” and students will be assigned to one of four houses where they will attend all or most of their classes.

Phase one of the work began at the end of the school year, with demolition and prep work taking place.

Shipley said one group of workers is completing the demo work, while another is working on renovations. Thus far, they have focused on painting and building new walls.

“They are doing amazing work,” Shipley said.

Phase two is scheduled to begin Sept. 10, with work beginning at 3 p.m. each day, so as not to conflict with students. Barricades will be put in place to keep the construction areas secure. The third phase is scheduled Oct. 1 to 22, while phase four will be Oct. 22 to Nov. 12. The final phase would run from Nov. 12 to Dec. 12. Finishing touches and walk-throughs will be conducted over Christmas break.

“The timeline is tight, but they are working hard to stay on pace,” Shipley said.

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J.W.  Johnson Jr.

J.W. Johnson Jr.

J.W. Johnson Jr. is the bureau chief of the Cranberry Eagle. Johnson is a native of Bellaire, Ohio, and graduated from Bellaire High School in 2004. He is a 2009 graduate of Ohio University in Athens with a bachelor of specialized studies degree in English and journalism. While there, he served as a reporter and editor at The Post, the university’s student-run, independent newspaper. In 2009, he was hired as a reporter for The Intelligencer and Wheeling News-Register in Wheeling, W.Va. Over the course of eight years, he also served as Marshall County bureau chief, city editor and news editor. He also won two first place West Virginia Press Association Awards for his reporting and design work. He and his wife, Maureen, live in Carnegie.