Despite extensive renovations throughout Northern Cambria elementary-middle school, classes will start on time on Aug. 28.

And, while school will begin as scheduled, parents should be aware of some minor and temporary changes in the first weeks.

Superintendent Thomas Estep said improvements to the kindergarten rooms will be completed in time for school, with the exception of ventilation. Estep said the old ventilation system is operational and will be utilized until the new one is installed.

Kindergarten rooms will see new ceilings, paint and carpeting. An additional kindergarten room is part of the new construction plan.

Estep said parents and visitors looking for the school office should go to the auditorium. Office staff will be located there during the first few weeks of school while the original location is under construction.

Officer Steve Cummins, the school resource officer, will be stationed at the front door during school hours, checking visitors and ensuring student safety until the office is finished.

The nurse's office will remain in its original place.

"Things are moving along," Estep said. "Students and parents should expect things to look different because there are places with no ceiling tiles and courtyards that are blocked off for construction.

"There are going to be inconveniences for the next 18 months until this project is done," Estep said.

While construction began a month later than anticipated, crews already have broken ground and poured footers for the new gymnasium.

Estep praised the district's maintenance staff for adapting to the construction.

"Our maintenance supervisor, Paul Stafford, and his staff have worked very hard dealing with the jumble, clutter and dirt," Estep said.

Construction began six weeks ago on the 18-month, $13.7 million addition and renovation project. Other upgrades include construction of new classrooms, central air conditioning throughout the building, and new auditorium seats.

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