Construction crews are making major headway on the Washington School District’s new Early Learning Center.
Located on the Washington West Elementary campus off West Highway 100, the 25,000-square-foot center will open in August.
The center will combine three programs under one roof — early childhood special education, Parents as Teachers and all of the in-town preschools.
Assistant Superintendent Dr. Brendan Mahon said exterior brickwork should be completed by early next week, and metal siding has already been installed.
Two sides of the building are brick, with metal siding on the other sides.
“We are totally under roof and 90 percent complete on the exterior — all good news,” Mahon told The Missourian Thursday.
“We had hoped to get asphalt parking lots completed in November, but weather did not permit,” he said. “This will not impact the overall schedule. We simply moved it to the spring.”
Mahon said crews are hard at work on the interior of the building.
“Interior framing is complete, and the drywall in the classroom areas has been taped and sanded and will be finished next week,” he reported.
Crews are just now beginning to lay the tile in the classroom restrooms, he noted.
“All of the plumbing for the building has been roughed in, and the electric is roughed in for classrooms and they are currently working on the office areas,” he said. “The mechanical piping is about 50 percent complete, and interior ceiling drywall is complete.”
Mahon said the contractor is still on target for a May 9 substantial completion date.
“At that point they would turn the building over to us,” he said. “Our maintenance crews will then treat the floors and we will begin to move furniture into the building.”
The building will house 13 classrooms in total, including infant/toddler, 2-year-old, preschool and early childhood special education rooms, the Parents as Teachers office and meeting rooms, and a multipurpose room for group meetings and presentations.
Lawlor Corporation is the general contractor for the $4.1 million project, which is being financed through a $9 million bond issue approved this past April.
The district recently hired a new director for the Early Learning Center — Dawn Hellebusch, who currently serves as principal of Clearview Elementary.
Tuition rates also have been set and programming finalized for the center.