Now that school is officially out for the summer, crews are hard at work preparing to replace the century-old Franklin Elementary School and fundamentally redesign  and remodel Lowell Elementary School.

MCPS Technology and Communications Director Hatton Littman said observers won't see much in the way of heavy construction right away.

"In Franklin's case, it's being completely rebuilt,except for the gymnasium, while at Lowell some areas will be demolished and other wings of the building will be added on. At this point in the summer, materials and furnishings are being moved out of those schools, so neighbors will see lots of moving trucks coming in and out of the area. Following that, we will have abatement contractors who will be removing any hazardous materials from the buildings."

Littman said any demolition work will be well advertised ahead of time, not just for the sake of the media, but for those in the neighborhood who may be affected.

"It'll likely be the middle of July when demolition starts, and we'll certainly be reaching out so that folks in the media can come and capture the historic moments, but also so that we can get the word out to folks in those neighborhoods," she said. "Folks from Dick Anderson Contractors and Jackson Contracting are out knocking on doors doing outreach in the neighborhood when their construction activities are really going to impact neighbors."

Littman said there are several other smaller projects underway this summer.

"We're doing some roofing projects at Big Sky High School, we'll have Paxson and Rattlesnake Elementary projects going on during the summer that will be completed in December," she said. "Then Lowell and Franklin will be delivered at the end of August 2017.During construction, Franklin students will attend school at the Jefferson Center, while Lowell students will attend at Mount Jumbo in East Missoula."

The construction is funded by a combined school bond levy of $158 million passed last fall by Missoula voters.


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