Students at Wallace Elementary School in the West York Area School District will start school this year with the backdrop of construction equipment, a renovation and construction project that is two weeks ahead of schedule, according to construction officials.

Teachers were allowed into the building for the first time this summer on Wednesday, a week before students arrive.

Extra maintenance staff were on hand to move classroom furniture where teachers needed it to be, said Phil Martin, district supervisor of buildings and grounds.

Ready for school: The construction zones on school grounds will be fenced off to make sure students don't have access, said Karl Kauffman, project manager at Wallace for Quandel Construction.

"We're going to be in some fantastic shape for the start of school," Kauffman said.

Indoor renovations will move to night shift work once students are in the building, Martin said. Those renovations have begun in two classrooms at the end of the kindergarten wing, and those classrooms are scheduled to be finished by the end of September, Kauffman said.

At that time the crews will shift to two classrooms farther up the hallway, and teachers will move into the newly renovated spaces. Each phase of two classroom renovations is expected to take about two months.

Outdoor construction, including well drilling, will continue. The drilling process will take two to three weeks, Kauffman said. The drilling-related noise shouldn't be a distraction indoors for students, Martin said, but more of a "background hum."


At the high school: The district will receive final bids for the high school project Aug. 21, pushed back slightly from the original bid schedule, said Tom Gilbert, head architect for the project.

The firm received feedback from a few contractors asking for an extension because of the complexity of the project, Gilbert said, which the district agreed to do.

That won't affect the overall building schedule, Gilbert said. The school board will vote to accept bids for the high school project at the Sept. 9 work session, said superintendent Emilie Lonardi.

— Reach Nikelle Snader at