New schools near completion

Construction crews are sprinting toward the finish line in an effort to complete four new Big Spring elementary school campuses by early next month.Big Spring Independent School District officials expect to take possession of the new schools by the middle of next month, officials said.BSISD Transportation Director Wayland Pierce, who is the district's liaison overseeing the massive project, estimated the four new campuses are about 95 percent complete, with the majority of remaining work centered around putting finishing touches on the school interiors, although some outside work remains, as well.“The playgrounds, roads and parking lots are going in,” Pierce said. “We're pretty much right where we need to be right now.“Overall, things are going pretty smoothly,” he added. “Of course, we all wanted the schools finished last week … Everybody's anxious to move in and get everything set up, but we're going to make it. We're going to have our kids in new schools at the start of the new school year.”The four schools, which will replace elementary campuses at Washington, Marcy, Moss and Goliad, are part of a $60 million construction project approved by voters in May 2010. Aside from the new elementary schools, renovation work was Oked for Big Spring Junior High and Big Spring High School.Renovation of the junior high is already complete, while work is expected to continue at the high school until April 2013.Upgrades of the high school science labs are expected to be completed in early August, while the new boiler system should come online by the end of the first week in July, Pierce said. The next — and final — major renovation project at the high school will be a remodeling and expansion of the band hall and music wing; work on that should begin as soon as the science lab upgrade is completed.