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Images from PCM Middle School show new look in progress

Published: Thursday, April 20, 2017 9:25 a.m. CDT • Updated: Thursday, April 20, 2017 11:42 a.m. CDT
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(Mike Mendenhall/Daily News)
Scaffold and sky lifts are placed throughout the auditorium at PCM Middle School last week. Once construction is complete, the auditorium will feature new and expanded seating, better stage access, a new sound system and acoustics.

New images from the interior of PCM Middle School in Prairie City show an almost unrecognizable auditorium space and exterior shots display a former parking lot outside that is now graded earth.

PCM school district administrators gave an update on the construction process at the March school board meeting, but the Newton Daily News took a tour of the job site Monday with project management firm DCI Group to get a first-hand look at the construction’s progress.

Inside, most of the work so far has centered on the auditorium. The room is now a concrete contour of the former play and concert venue. No carpet, seats, drywall or plaster remain. Cuts into the concrete floor reveal the underlying rebar.

Subcontractors are laying the groundwork for expanded seating, easier stage access and new acoustics.

Crews began removing trees, brush, shrubs and concrete to clear the path for primary construction in March. Exterior construction is slated to start in earnest after students leave for summer break in May. The work is all part of PCM’s three-year, $20 million facilities renovation project.

Asbestos removal from the auditorium and gym was completed before major work on the venue began. As seen in these images, construction crews have removed the existing seats and carpet in the auditorium to prep for expanding seating, making stage improvements and other upgrades.

But the most noticeable changes to the public are outside the school, where the former parking lot and bus lane between the schools has been fenced in and transformed into a work zone. By the end of next school year, the area will hold an enclosed breezeway linking the two buildings.

The district’s new pick-up and drop-off policy for students and parents was implemented the Monday following PCM’s spring break.

The district announced its construction timeline for its Prairie City campus last month.

Late site work in Prairie City will consist of final site grading and installation of new sidewalks to the entrances and adjacent areas. The middle school/PCE parking lot will be completed summer 2018.

Interior construction at PCM Middle School will last through September 2017. Work for the building addition is expected to start in early May and last throughout the 2017-18 school year.  

Renovations on the middle school media center will begin this summer at the end of May. The current office area will be renovated this summer into classroom space and will be completed by fall.

Contact Mike Mendenhall at mmendenhall@newtondailynews.com

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