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Mercer renovations starting to catch up

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The addition to Hugh Mercer Elementary is coming along.

The addition to Hugh Mercer Elementary is coming along.

The construction at Hugh Mercer Elementary School is now only 17 days behind, Fredericksburg Schools Director of Operations Bob Burch told the School Board on Monday night.

The expansion of the elementary school has been ongoing for several months and is expected to be ready for paint in May.

Because there have been so many snow days and rain days during the winter and more recently, the project fell behind.

One of the delays happened while the students were on winter break. While trying to install the sanitary sewer system for the new addition, workers discovered another sanitary sewer outlet from the original building that didn’t show up on the plans.

As a result of this and other issues, the project fell as much as a month behind, but now it is getting back on track. Burch said 11 days have already been made up.

He said a lot more of the time will be made up this month while the students are on spring break.

The expansion will allow the school to keep up with the city’s increasing population.

Hugh Mercer was built for 800 to 825 students, but this year had closer to 900 enrolled, with more children expected in the future.

The elementary school off Cowan Boulevard currently covers 114,900 square feet. The addition will add another 10,800 square feet, providing six classrooms for second-graders, two resource rooms, one special education room, a teacher workroom, an office for an assistant principal and two restrooms.

In Schools Superintendent David Melton’s proposed budget for next year, he asked for three additional teachers for Hugh Mercer. His budget, which the School Board approved, is expected to be fully funded by the City Council.

The expansion project is estimated to cost a total of $2.5 million.

Robyn Sidersky 540/374-5413


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