Northridge students can count on returning to school Wednesday, Aug. 20.

Northridge students can count on returning to school Wednesday, Aug. 20.

School officials say the construction of the modular unit that will house Northridge Intermediate students (grades 4 and 5), and the move of classroom furniture and materials from the now closed Hartford and Homer elementary buildings to Northridge Primary in Alexandria, is right on schedule.

Students and parents will get a look at those "new" spaces, and the pre-existing ones, at open houses scheduled in the days before school starts.

Kindergarten and ninth grade orientations are scheduled for Aug. 14. Open house at the primary building will be Aug. 19 from 5 to 6:30 p.m. Intermediate students will have their open house that same night, Aug. 19, from 5 to 7 p.m. Middle school open house is scheduled for Aug. 18 from 6 to 8 p.m., with designated times for different grade levels.

Parents will receive more updates via postcards and a district-wide newsletter in the next couple of weeks, Superintendent John Shepard said. Specifically, class lists and bus route information will be posted the second week of August at the main entrance of each community school, even at Hartford and Homer.

The district's Web site "construction" page includes a school supply list.

Regina Gladden -- former Hartford custodian, now the Intermediate custodian -- orchestrated the move from the two closed buildings to the primary building in Alexandria. She said the monumental task the district faced at the beginning of summer has gone smoothly.

"Everything has been moved, in the way of furniture, and it's all clean. We've been bringing books down this week," Gladden said. "The primary building is to the point that the halls are really the only thing that need to be cleaned, so we're really at a good spot right now."

She said she was not surprised when the moving crew uncovered thick mold behind the whiteboards at Hartford because she knew there was a lot of moisture in the walls.

Maintenance supervisor David Liggett said some large space on the top floor of the primary building has been divided with new walls to create additional classroom space. That work was to be completed this week, he said.

Meanwhile, Shepard said he thinks students and parents will be very impressed with the 17,400-square-foot Intermediate building. It includes a large multi-purpose room, 11 classrooms, one computer lab, a principal's office and a teacher's lounge/work area.

"They're doing the floors and ceilings now, and then we're set," he said. "We expect to move furniture in Aug. 4 and have the teachers come in to get their rooms ready Aug. 11. We're excited. It's very nice, and once things get under way we'll have community open houses, as well."

Shepard said he is still in the process of addressing issues like traffic flow associated with that new building, which is adjacent to the middle school.

The district expects its Web site, to be up and running in a more user-friendly format soon. Shepard said they plan to offer training for parents this fall on accessing their children's grades and assignments via the Web.