Grandview Heights Schools' new grade 4-8 building is expected to "go vertical" by the end of July.

That's when community members will start to see the new building rise up, Superintendent Andy Culp said.

"It will really start looking like a building project then," he said.

Project superintendent Chris Tyo said workers have installed the masonry, elevator towers and some of the firewalls around the existing gymnasium.

The steel structure of the new building is set to rise toward the end of the month, he said.

The project "continues to be on time and on budget," Culp said.

The COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic has had little or no impact on the project, Tyo said.

Aside from short delays of deliveries from overseas of some component parts for certain fixtures and equipment, no issues with obtaining needed materials have arisen, he said.

"All of our workers are maintaining 6-feet distancing when working and are wearing masks when they need to work more closely together," Tyo said.

About 30 to 40 workers are on-site each day, he said.

As of July 7, when craftworkers are included, about 13,700 man-hours of work have been put in at the project site, Tyo said.

Seven days have been lost due to rain since work began in early February, he said.

"You always include some lost days in your schedule," Tyo said. "We would have expected to have lost about four days by this time because of rain, so we've lost a few days more than expected. It's not had any real impact on getting work done."

Much of the work during the first five months of the project has involved laying the foundation of the new building, he said. Other work has included underground utility preparation, demolition of a portion of the high school building and the installation of a student walkway on Oakland Avenue.

Since mid-March, when Gov. Mike DeWine issued an order closing school buildings and Grandview and other districts moved to remote learning, the construction project has continued without the presence of students and staff in the Edison/Larson and high school buildings.

"It helps a little with planning not to have to take in consideration that you have students in the buildings," Tyo said.

The main advantage is not having to worry as much about whether construction noise might disturb teachers and students in the classroom, he said.

"We'll be prepared whether students are back in class or not" when the school year reopens Aug. 13, Tyo said.

The first phase of the $55.2 million project includes construction of the new grade 4-8 building in the area between the current Edison/Larson building and the high school.

The connector that will be built between the high school and new building will include a kitchen to serve separate cafeterias for the 4-8 building and high school. The second floor of the connector will house the district's administrative offices.

The construction of the new 4-8 building is expected to be completed in July 2021.

The second phase of the project would involve a major renovation of the high school. During that phase, which is expected to last from summer 2021 through January 2023, high school students would attend class in the new building and students in grades 4-8 would remain in the existing Edison/Larson building.

High school students would move back into their building in January 2023 and the younger students then would move into the new 4-8 building. The third phase of the project would involve demolition of the old Edison/Larson building and site restoration.

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