It’s official — opening day will be Tuesday, Dec. 8 at the new McCormick Middle School.
“I hope we survive it,” chuckled Wellington superintendent Dennis Mock on Tuesday, outlining to the board of education how the massive move will unfold in the next several weeks.
First – Ozanne Construction, which built the new school, has also won the demolition and asbestos abatement jobs at the century-old McCormick namesake. The move date was written into that contract, signed Friday, Mock said.
The tear-down effort will start Monday, Dec. 14, so everything must be out of the building before then.
The Keystone Schools have donated three-quarters of the boxes purchased recently during a move to their new building, said Wellington business manager Tim Wulfhoop.
District staff will “buddy up” to help middle school teachers unpack Friday, Dec. 4 and Monday, Dec. 7 at the new school. Students will be given those dates off using calamity days.
Principal Craig Housum is planning an orientation for students their first day in the building with teachers leading tours.
Eighth-graders will move from Wellington High School to McCormick the same day.
Some will have to walk back and forth between the buildings; eighth grade choir will be held at the high school as will lunches.
In the meantime, an auction to sell old McCormick equipment and treasures to the public has fallen through, Mock reported.
He told the board the auction organizer did not have sufficient lead time to pull off a sale.
Now items will be spread out across the cafeteria and gymnasium floors at a date yet to be announced for sale or donation. Don’t get your hopes up for walking away with an old McCormick chalkboard; anything attached to the walls cannot be removed due to asbestos concerns.
“Unfortunately the gym floor has asbestos underneath it, so we’re not able to take any of the gym floor,” Mock said.
During demolition, Ozanne will set aside bricks that the public can take for free, he said.
Back at the new school, the first performances in the Patricia Lindley Center for the Performing Arts will be Dec. 18 and 19. Wood stage flooring was installed Monday and Tuesday, according to Mock.
The Wellington High School band will not be able to use the auditorium for its Dec. 10 concert, which will be held in the new McCormick gymnasium.
While the entire construction project is on budget with just finishing touches remaining, Wellington Schools treasurer Michael Pissini said demolition of the old building is a financial concern.
“We hope there are no buried fuel tanks. We hope there are no hidden factors in bringing the building down,” Mock told the school board Tuesday.
There are also still kinks to work out with resident concerns over lights and headlights from the school complex.
Buses, for the time at least, will be parked in the Wellington High School lot.
They will not be able to use the old McCormick lot during demolition, nor can they be stored at the Dickson Street athletic stadium or Westwood Elementary, which are both located in residential zones.
This week, Wulfhoop and other staff started moving superintendent, treasurer, and business offices out of the old McCormick and into Westwood Elementary School.
Jason Hawk can be reached at 440-647-3171 or @EditorHawk on Twitter.