Construction of the new Gilson Middle School is underway!
Following voter approval of a $39,804,183 bond sale last October, the city has been working very hard to get ready for the ground breaking of our new school this summer. The goal is to get the main structure fully enclosed before the heavy snow arrives in the fall. The contractors will then be able to work all winter developing the interior spaces. This is a lot to coordinate in a short time. Included in this schedule was moving the current middle school operation to temporary facilities in Hermon Hutchison Elementary School and the demolition of the old building.
This project is currently scheduled to take 18 months to complete. If all goes well we should be able to move into the new building over Christmas break 2014, and begin holding classes there in January 2015. This certainly sounds like a very long time, but it is a huge construction project; one that Valdez does not see very often. So to be successful, this project will require the patience, understanding, and flexibility of the entire community.
Clearly, many of us will be inconvenienced by this project. Of course, most impacted will be all the students and teachers throughout the entire District, particularly those at the high school. Users of the football field, running track and pool will also be negatively impacted. The overall construction site is much smaller than is typically available for a project of this magnitude; so to maintain the construction schedule and protect the public safety in this area; public access to and around the site will have to be restricted.
We are working very hard to minimize the negative effects on all stakeholders, but we also need to appeal to everyone in the community for their understanding that these 18 months of pain will get all of us, our kids, and our grandkids, 50 years of gain; by way of a brand new school that we will all be very proud of. Please keep checking back on this webpage to stay informed about the current status of the project or any changes that may impact user groups. Also note that there is an option to sign up for email alerts when new information is posted.