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Burgess groundbreaking set



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Burgess groundbreaking and construction is planned to avoid interfering with student learning. (click for larger version)
August 23, 2010
STURBRIDGE — The official groundbreaking for the Burgess Elementary School building and renovation project is set for Sept. 2. According to officials, work is right on schedule and will not interfere with the start of classes.

On Wednesday, Aug. 4, the Burgess School Building Committee unanimously voted to award the project to Fontaine Bros. Inc. of Springfield for $22.9 million, reducing the cost of the overall project from an estimated $47 million to approximately $34 million.

Vice Chairman of the Committee Charles Blanchard said with all the T's crossed and I's dotted, it is finally time to make some moves on the ground.

With the project that will include construction of a new wing, renovation of a section of the existing building and demolition of another planned in three phases, Blanchard said the groundbreaking may coincide with the start of the school year — the first day of school is Tuesday, Aug. 31 — but will not have any impact on it.

"This is really just a ceremonial beginning for the project," Blanchard said.

Tantasqua/Union 61 Superintendent Daniel G. Durgin said Burgess students will participate in the ceremony.

"We're going to have the children out there to be apart of it," Durgin said. "It's something our students are going to impacted by, the three years of building, so it's only appropriate that they take part in the celebration and the groundbreaking."

Over the first few weeks of work, construction crews will be putting up fences around the area where the two Little League diamonds are now, and creating an access road that will allow construction equipment and materials to come in and out of the property without disrupting any classroom instruction or tying up schoolyard traffic.

Some of that preparatory work, Blanchard said, ahs already begun.

"That work has begun and will be in process even before the groundbreaking," Blanchard said. "Part of the plan is to make sure there's no co-mingling of the traffic to support the school that is in session and the construction work."

See Wednesday's Southbridge Evening News for complete coverage of community news

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