By CHRIS EVERSOLE
Crews have finished building the structure of the new Mustang Central Middle School, and they’re working on the finishing touches.
Crossland Con-struction is scheduled to turn the building over to the school district July 15, said Assistant Super-intendent Jason Pittenger.
From there, the school district will install desks, computers and other equipment in preparation for opening the building on the first day of class, Aug. 16.
The 100,000-square-foot building is two stories, and can accommodate 700 students, Pittenger said.
The portion of the building that serves the fine arts, including band, drama and chorus, is also built as a storm shelter.
The walls and the ceiling are poured concrete, and the storm shelter includes its own restrooms.
“The rooms are large, and we have room for all the kids in an emergency,” Pittenger said.
The gym has a hardwood floor. It also has its own entrance so people can attend events without having access to the rest of the building.
Mustang Central will serve seventh- and eighth-graders.
“They’re working on their critical-thinking skills more than they did in lower grades,” Pittenger said.
Principal Toby Blair, who previously was an assistant principal at Mustang High School, has formed his administrative team and hired teachers.
All but two positions are filled, and Blair is in the process of filling those, Pittenger said.
The new middle school is funded by a $180 million bond issue that voters approved in February 2017.
Bond-issue projects that opened for last school year were Riverwood Elementary School, located north of the new middle school, and Meadow Brook Intermediate School (serving fifth- and sixth-graders) on SW 15th Street, west of Czech Hall Road.
The high school science academy that is under construction will open in the fall, and the performing arts center is under construction.
Pittenger thanked the community for supporting the school district.
“We are blessed that people trust us to be good stewards of their money,” he said.
Mustang Schools will need additional buildings to keep up with the continuing home construction within the school district, Pittenger said.
It is forming a long-range planning committee that will look at growth patterns and recommend additional buildings for a potential new bond issue.