With asbestos abatement now complete, demolition crews with RA-LIN and Associates, a Carrollton-based company, have now begun knocking down walls and pulling down ceilings at the Hughes Dairy Road middle school.

Workers hope to bring the Pepperell Middle School building down in about a week as soon as more heavy equipment arrives. Matt Gregg, who has been working demolition for 10 years, said at most it would take a week and a half.

Jack Gardner, the system’s new executive director of facilities, said during a board meeting on Monday that the inside of the school had been completely abated of asbestos and passed air inspection tests. Workers were finishing up abating the roof of asbestos on Thursday, which had to be done before crews could completely knock the building down.

Once demolition is complete and the site is cleared, the Floyd County school system will have to wait for the state to approve their capital outlay request, which should come in around the beginning of September. A final cost has not yet been determined due to the new school still being in the planning stages, however Superintendent Jeff Wilson told the board of education this week it would be between $19 million and $20 million.

The new middle school will be constructed using funds from a 1-cent education local option sales tax which was approved by county voters last fall. The system is working on reducing costs to the project by adding value engineering options such as not installing urinals, which would save about half a million dollars.

The orientation of the school will be different according to preliminary blue prints found on the Floyd County Schools website. The current school building — or what’s left of it — is laid out in a circle-like fashion with the gymnasium unattached to the school.

The new middle school is projected to be a laid out long-ways on the property, with the back of the school touching the gymnasium by way of a covered walkway. The gymnasium will be remodeled, according to Wilson, which will happen later as the project progresses. A timeline for completion of the project has not yet been set since the board has not bid out a construction manager-at-risk to oversee the work.

While the new school is under construction the Pepperell Middle sixth and seventh grade students have been moved to the former McHenry Primary school building where they will stay until the project is complete. McHenry closed its doors at the end of the school year in May and its students will now be attending Pepperell Primary School. Eighth grade students will be at Pepperell High School when school starts back on Aug. 1.

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