As the big yellow taxis begin to roll again this week, our summer of school construction and capital repairs and replacements winds down.

We are grateful to our community for the investment made in our New Albany-Plain Local School District facilities to benefit more than 5,000 students and staff members. We also are thankful for our partners at the city of New Albany for their efforts to expedite summer construction projects impacting traffic. We thank our parents and community at large for their patience this summer.

I am pleased to share with you a few highlights from summer work impacting our learning campus.

New Albany Early Learning Center

The early learning center Playground, formerly installed at the 2-5 elementary school more than 20 years ago, was replaced this summer. The new playground includes expanded accessibility options for students with special needs and was partially funded by state and federal grants applied for by the school district.

New Albany Primary School/Annex

Phase 1 of the city of New Albany's road construction to align the primary school loop with the future Miller Avenue extension is ready for the first day of school. The primary school shingle-roof replacement, web filter, internet access and security-camera upgrades also were completed this summer.

New Albany Middle School

Our LED retrofit project began at the middle school this summer. Interior retrofitted lights will be completed for the start of the new school year at the middle school, and the project will be extended throughout the remainder of campus as the school year progresses.

Boiler replacements for the middle school and parts of the high school campus are scheduled. Work will progress without interruption to the school day or evening activities. The district sought and received grant funding for this project with the remaining balance budgeted to produce enough energy savings to pay for our return on investment within seven years.

Middle school/high school

cafeteria loop

The middle school/high school cafeteria loop has been reconstructed and will remain closed until October to permit the city to complete the landscaping, fencing and gates desired for Rose Run Park connectivity. When this loop reopens in October, it will be used as an express drop-off/pickup location, and automobile parking will not be permitted. Middle school and high school special-needs buses will relocate to this loop when it reopens in October.

Student access for walking and playing will be permitted in the middle school/high school cafeteria loop. When it is reopened for traffic in October, the gates being installed by the city of New Albany will restrict public vehicle access during school hours, but the loop will remain accessible to school buses and emergency vehicles.

New Albany High School

We are nearing completion of the metal-roof construction and concrete replacement on the high school campus, but landscaping repairs will continue through August. Please respect any remaining caution tape or cones.

Dublin-Granville Road and the Rose Run project

Again, we are grateful to the city of New Albany for accelerating the Dublin-Granville Road construction this summer for the start of the new school year. Traffic flow on Dublin-Granville Road might be restricted to one lane from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. as Rose Run Park construction continues.

The new school year officially is underway with the first day of classes Thursday, Aug. 15. It remains grounded in our clarity of purpose, "to create a culture of accountability to achieve the best academic and developmental outcomes for each student." Join us as we continue to fulfill our purpose, demonstrate continuous improvement and keep "students first" in achievement, growth and well-being.

The 2019-20 school year will be our best yet.

Michael Sawyers is superintendent of the New Albany-Plain Local School District.