The Beaufort Elementary construction project is considered 65 percent complete.

Work starts Monday to finish the other 35 percent in time for the start of the new school year.

Construction at the elementary school has been ongoing since late 2018. At Wednesday’s board of education meeting, Assistant Superintendent Dr. Mike Mabe reported the project was more than half done.

Mabe said during a recent conversation with contractors, the district was informed the project is considered 65 percent complete. With school ending soon, the empty building means work is about to ramp up.

Beaufort has been preparing for the summer. With students in the building, work started on renovations to the school’s gym and library.

On Monday, May 20, students will be out of the building and major renovations to the office and abatement in the building are scheduled to begin. Once finished, Superintendent Dr. Steve Weinhold said Beaufort would basically be a “new” school.

Wright Construction was awarded the contract for the project in November 2018. The biggest component is building a new gym, which also will serve as a storm shelter and allow for existing space at the school to be remodeled into several classrooms, special education rooms, a media center and offices for counselors.

Office additions and other improvements also are on tap.

The new gym is already under construction. Walls have been set up and crews are now working on the roof. Plumbing and electrical work for the gym is slated to begin soon.

The building will be closed to the public for the entire summer meaning no summer school classes. The goal is to allow crews the space to work.

Part of the interior work is abatement of hazardous materials. The original scope was just to abate the areas being renovated. That scope expanded in March.

The school board approved a plan that would eliminate all lead-based paint and asbestos from the building.

With the building going to be closed already, board members said it made sense to abate the entire building now instead of closing the building for a summer in the future.

The board agreed to increase the abatement scope and do the entire building. A contract for $96,289 was awarded to Spray Services Inc., Washington, at the meeting.

The contract also covers abatement at the middle school.

Additionally, the board supported a plan to spend an additional $182,034 for new furniture for the entire school.

The board also backed spending $12,960 on new classroom HVAC units and $97,913 on finishing work, such as new flooring and paint after the abatement is completed.

There will no longer be any hazardous material in the school once the work is finished.

Weinhold said the work would basically be replacing the guts of the school. Outside of the building’s “shell,” it would basically be a totally renovated school, he said.

The added work isn’t expected to add any time to the project. The goal is still to have the building ready by Aug. 1.

The Beaufort project is expected to cost $4,195,142 for the main scope of the project. The additional scope is expected to cost $584,196, according to budgetary numbers provided by the district’s project manager, Navigate Building Solutions.