Contractors and designers have been busy all summer adding a 3,550-square-foot addition to Miltona Science Magnet School – and now they’re almost done with the project.

“We’re happy we were able to give them a little more space out there that was much needed,” said Trevor Peterson, director of business services in the district.

In the older version of the building, there were six classrooms. Smaller rooms were used for intervention and special education, and there was a portable classroom that was not attached to the building.

With the addition, there are now two more full-sized classrooms plus a special education suite. The portable classroom is being discontinued as a classroom and will be used only for storage.

Peterson said it’s rare for schools to completely finish summer construction projects before school starts, and while this project is not going to be 100% complete by the first day of school, it’s going to be pretty close and pretty awesome.

“This summer has been very exciting to see what’s going on out there for the construction and the addition of the spaces,” he said.

The addition isn’t the only thing that changed the school’s appearance. New flooring was put in, the walls were painted and additional restrooms, hand-washing stations in the hallway and a more accommodating double-door front entrance were added. Visitors are easily directed to the office as they come in.

“(The doors were) a security measure as well just to make that front entrance a little more secure, as well as a little more customer-friendly for those visitors that come to the building,” Peterson said.

It was important that the building was more handicapped accessible and that it adhered to building codes, he said.

Peterson said the contractors and designers did a really nice job with keeping the project going and under budget. The school spent about $850,000 on the project. “Everything needs to go smoothly and this one certainly did.”

The hand-washing stations will be helpful for students before entering the cafeteria for lunch. “This will help just a little bit with the flow in the hallway and keep things moving, rather than kids going in and out of the bathroom so much,” Peterson said.

During demolition, the construction crew found asbestos in areas such as in the adhesives for bulletin boards. All asbestos was abated, meaning removed. Some dead trees were removed for environmental and aesthetic purposes.

Mostly just the final cleaning process is left incomplete. Minor things like touch-up painting needs to be done, some glass needs to go into doors, and items need to be put back into the rooms where they belong. Some stainless steel signage will be added to the front of the building once school starts on Tuesday, Sept. 3.

“The Miltona community has always been very supportive of the school, and just to be able to provide them an exciting new learning space has been really fun to think about,” Peterson said. “We’re looking forward to seeing the kids’ and the parents' eyes light up at open house and the first day of school.”

SIDEBAR: Updates on the Woodland underpass

The underpass on McKay Avenue near Woodland Elementary School is almost complete as well.

The sidewalk is finished nearest the school; there is one patch that still needs to be covered with sidewalk nearest the residences on the east side of the road. The grass has been replaced, and McKay Avenue on top of the underpass is fully accessible to cars.