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Perryville Elementary to undergo $18.7 million renovation

Perryville Elementary School will be closed for two years while it undergoes a major renovation. Students will go to either Bainbridge or Charlestown Elementary schools.
Perryville Elementary School will be closed for two years while it undergoes a major renovation. Students will go to either Bainbridge or Charlestown Elementary schools. (Photo courtesy Cecil County Public)

Perryville Elementary School will be closed for two years, once this school year ends, as the school undergoes an extensive renovation.

Students will attend classes at the nearby Bainbridge Elementary School in Port Deposit and Charlestown Elementary School.

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"The reason that they're being moved out of the building is because of the general scope of the project," Kelly Keeton, assistant in administration for Cecil County Public Schools, said Wednesday.

County school officials project the total cost of the renovation, including construction, equipment and design, will be $18.7 million, shared by the county and the state.

The middle portion of the school, which was part of the original school built in 1955, will be "demolished down to the slab" and then rebuilt, Perry Willis, executive director for support services, said.

The newer sections of the school, wings added during the 1960s, '70s and '80s, will be stripped of everything except the structure and the windows, Willis said.

Keeton said work is scheduled to begin after school lets out in the summer of 2014 and the children are expected to return to their renovated school when the 2016-2017 school year begins in the fall of 2016.

She said the Perryville students will be integrated into classes at Bainbridge and Charlestown, and noted all three schools feed into Perryville Middle School.

There are 371 children enrolled at Perryville Elementary, which serves pre-kindergarten through fifth grade.

Keeton said the 62,520-square-foot school, will not be expanded; all renovations will be internal.

Willis said Perryville was originally designed to serve only special-needs children who were bused there.

Today, all children in Cecil County attend their "home schools" in their communities, Willis explained.

"The school is divided into a lot of small spaces, and it really doesn't support today's instructional delivery [methods]," he said of Perryville's layout.

Willis said the school also has "a long list of deferred maintenance."

He said the boiler system will be replaced, along with the roof, and the mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems.

The school will have new ceilings, floors, cabinets, paint and technology infrastructure.

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Willis said the school will need to undergo asbestos abatement in portions of the building that still have asbestos-related material such as some floor tiles and in crawl spaces.

"Any asbestos-related material that's still there," he said. "It's minimal but it's still there."

A community meeting was scheduled for Wednesday so school officials could answer questions from Perryville Elementary families.

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