By Laura Hayes, Senior Community Reporter
SHREWSBURY — “Substantial” completion of the new Maj. Howard W. Beal Elementary School was done July 23, Shrewsbury’s vice chair of the Board of Selectmen, John Lebeaux, reported during the board’s July 27 meeting.
“That is a major, major milestone,” said Lebeaux, who is chair of the Beal Early Childhood Center Building Committee.
The project is proceeding on time, under budget and with minimal equipment delays, Lebeaux said.
The Beal Early Childhood Center Building Committee met prior to the selectmen.
Project leaders told the board that the building is filled with furniture. They anticipated that paving both on the site and on nearby Lake Street would start and wrap up during the second week of August.
“All the site landscape is in, [the] building is buttoned up,” said Project Architect Sean Brennan. “We’re working through punch list items as we speak, and if any items remain, we’ll take care of them on off-hours to reduce any impact on any of the occupants.”
Patrick Collins, who is the Assistant Superintendent for Operations and Administration, asked when they could expect a majority of the workers to demobilize and leave.
“My visualization of a punch list is people doing finish carpentry or painting, and it’s really not disruptive to the educational program,” Collins said.
Project Engineer Ryan DiPasquale said they were working on having as much of the interior punch list work completed by Aug. 16, when teachers will be getting their rooms set up.
“That’s a primary focus of ours — to make sure there’s no disruption to teachers and eventually to students,” DiPasquale said.
He said school community members may still see some workers working on the building’s mural and doing other miscellaneous work.
The mural is a replica of a mural on the second floor of the old Beal School. Pictures were taken of that mural and a new version was reproduced on laminate.
The goal is to have the mural installed in the new school by the time the building gets its official dedication, said Brennan.
“I saw it at the millworks shop,” Brennan said. “It’s impressive. It’s cool to see. It would have been great to have the original come, but this is the next best thing.”
Shrewsbury Superintendent Joseph Sawyer thanked this project’s contractors for their work to meet the deadline.
“You have people working on the weekend schedule in order to try to make these dates because it’s important for us to be able to get in there and do what we need to do to start the school year successfully,” Sawyer said. “So, thank you.”