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Valley News Dispatch

Colfax Elementary in Springdale likely to remain open this fall

| Thursday, June 14, 2018, 9:30 a.m.
Colfax Elementary School in Springdale
Erica Dietz | Valley News Dispatch
Colfax Elementary School in Springdale

Don't say goodbye to Colfax Upper Elementary School just yet.

Chances are, the Allegheny Valley School District will begin classes there Aug. 27 and not have students move into the Acmetonia Primary Center until Christmas break.

Joseph Massaro of Massaro Corp., the company overseeing the $13 million Acmetonia project, reports that construction is 42 days behind schedule — thanks mainly to the harsh and lengthy winter.

Coates Construction Co., however, has recently expanded its work force from 17 to 31 in an effort to play catch up.

Massaro said, by the time school is scheduled to start this fall, the cafeteria's kitchen won't be operable, the gymnasium could be ready 14 days to 20 days into the school year and the music room won't be done.

School Director Stephen Puskar didn't like the idea of students brown-bagging it early in the school year or eating lunch in their classrooms.

Massaro expects the classrooms to be ready, however, by opening day, along with the parking lot and the student drop-off area.

The school board Monday night is expected to approve a school calendar that would see classes throughout the district begin Aug. 27. The winter holiday break would be extended to include Jan. 2-4, allowing enough time to transfer equipment from Colfax to the Acmetonia building.

The school board will have the final say on moving day.

Graduation would be June 7.

District officials originally hoped to start school Sept. 4 with all elementary students in the new Acmetonia building. The date of graduation is the same under both plans.

As for the Colfax building, Superintendent Patrick Graczyk said a real estate appraisal is complete and the results will be disclosed to school board members late this week. When a closing date for Colfax is determined, the school district will begin marketing the building.

In a housekeeping move, the school board Monday also is expected to formally change the name from Acmetonia Primary School to Acmetonia Elementary School.

That will leave the district with two buildings. Students in kindergarten through sixth grade will attend Acmetonia and those in grades seven through 12 will attend Springdale Junior-Senior High School.

The school district's enrollment next year is expected to be 934 students.

George Guido is a freelance writer.

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