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News items come from the U.S. Department of Educations's National Clearinghouse for Educational Facilities (NCEF).

Week Ahead: School Board to Review Potomac School Construction Plan
-- Bethesda Magazine

Maryland: July 10, 2017 -- The Montgomery County Board of Education will review Superintendent Jack Smith’s proposal to relocate students from Potomac Elementary School (PES) to a holding school while PES is renovated in 2018-2019. Smith noted in a memo to the board that the Radnor Holding Center in Bethesda, about 6.9 miles from Potomac Elementary, would be the best relocation spot. Some parents have opposed this plan, arguing that students should be able to remain at the Potomac school site while the renovation takes place.

Newhall Board to consider additional space for Head Start program
-- Christina Cox, The Santa Clarita Valley Signal

California: July 10, 2017 -- A Head Start program located in the Castaic Union School district is considering moving its portable classroom to the Newhall school District’s Wiley Canyon Elementary School site. The Newhall School District Governing Board is expected to review the modular placement, land-lease agreement and possible classroom rental for the Head Start program during its meeting Tuesday.

Numerous school building upgrades under way in Norwalk
-- Kevin Schultz, The

Connecticut: July 10, 2017 -- NORWALK — Unexpecting eyes passing West Rocks Middle School on Monday afternoon might have been taken aback to see the entire face of the south wing stripped away, leaving a clear view into the building’s interior. But district officials say not to worry as the deconstruction of the building’s two-story wall of windows is a part of the first phase of a windows and door replacement project slated to take place at the school over the course of this and the following summer. The construction project is just one of more than a dozen happening this summer across Norwalk Public Schools before even larger projects take place in the coming years, including the construction of the Ponus Ridge Magnet School and South Norwalk School campuses.

Greenwich Public Schools Facilities head moves on
-- Emilie Munson, Greenwich Time

Connecticut: July 10, 2017 -- GREENWICH — Greenwich Public School’s Director of Facilities Ronald Matten has accepted a position as executive director of Facilities for Hunter College in New York, the district announced Monday.

Portage plans $10.5 million renovations to high school
-- Joyce Russell, NWI

Indiana: July 10, 2017 -- PORTAGE — The western most portion of Portage High School West will undergo a $10.5 million renovation. And, it won't cost taxpayers an additional dime. "Not a lot of school systems can pull this off," said School Board President Andy Maletta. He praised former superintendents Mike Berta, E. Ric Frataccia and Richard Weigel, along with current superintendent Amanda Alaniz and the district's financial team for being able to save money for the project.

Summer's not a time of rest for area schools
-- Lisa Singleton-Rickman, Times Daily

Alabama: July 10, 2017 -- If you think summer's a time of rest for area school personnel, think again. School officials say summer is the busiest time of the year as they prepare for the 10-month school year in just eight weeks. "I always have to laugh when people ask what we do all summer," said Sheffield Superintendent Keith Lankford. "It's more like, what don't we do?" The only missing factor during June and July in local schools is students filling the hallways. Even that seems to be happening earlier and earlier.

Voters to weigh in on repairs in North Middlesex school district
-- Elizabeth Dobbins, Sentinel & Enterprise

Massachusetts: July 10, 2017 -- This week and next voters will weigh in on three proposed debt exclusions that, if passed, would fund $17.7 million in repairs to three schools in North Middlesex Regional School District. Elections will be held on Tuesday from noon to 7:30 p.m. in Ashby Elementary School. Townsend will hold elections the next week, July 18, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. in Memorial Hall. Pepperell, the third town in the district, approved the ballot questions during an election last month.

School construction boosts local economy
-- Emma Crawford, Daily Journal

Mississippi: July 9, 2017 -- Since 2013, the Tupelo and Lee County school districts have made major additions and improvements to their school campuses. Besides the obvious benefits of those construction projects to the school districts, the improvements have pumped nearly $40 million total into the local economy and employed hundreds of local residents. That’s because wherever possible, district officials say, they try to support local businesses through those projects. Andy Cantrell, Tupelo Public School District assistant superintendent, said it’s difficult to pinpoint the exact economic impact of the district’s $44 million bond issue on the local economy.

Midland Park school district moving offices into barn
-- Marsha A. Stoltz, North

New Jersey: July 9, 2017 -- MIDLAND PARK — The Midland Park school district is not waiting for the cows to come home. The district is proceeding this summer with conversion of a former dairy barn on the junior/senior high school property into office space for the school board, curriculum and special education staffs. Superintendent Marie Cirasella said moving the district offices out of the high school will allow for expansion of existing and new instructional programs.

'Meaningful ways to start a whole new story': $200,000 grant for playground renovation
-- Harmony Birch, Brattleboro Reformer

Vermont: July 9, 2017 -- BELLOWS FALLS — Two years ago, Bellows Falls started its Promise Community Initiative, an investment that paid off recently when the Vermont Department of Children and Families awarded it a $200,000 grant for the renovation of the Central Elementary School playground. "The grant isn't really about the playground," said Deb Witkus, community outreach coordinator for Greater Falls Connections, one of the collaborating partners in the initiative. "It's about rallying the community to make this positive change together."

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