SHREWSBURY, Mass. — Students at Shrewsbury's Sherwood Middle School will move into their new building on Jan. 23 after the school committee voted unanimously on the date Wednesday.
Teachers will move into the school Jan. 22, the day after the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday. The students will start classes there Jan. 23. All Sherwood students will get a four-day MLK weekend.
"Basically the building is 99.9 percent complete," school business services director Liam Hurley said Wednesday. "It's ready to go."
Gilbane Construction, which oversaw construction, handed the building over to Shrewsbury this week, Hurley said.
The furniture and technology will be completely installed in the new Sherwood School by mid-January, he said.
It would be a waste of taxpayer dollars to not use the building immediately, Superintendent Joseph Sawyer said.
Students and teachers would move into the school after the February break if a winter storm or other event causes a delay.
The building was to be opened in September or August, however, the project is months ahead of schedule. Construction began shortly after the snow melted in March.
The initial cost estimate was $47 million. Bids from subcontractors were lower than expected, and little of the building's contingency fund was spent. The project's cost estimate is now at about $42 million. The Massachusetts School Building Authority is paying for about half that amount.
Demolition of the older building will be completed by next summer. An athletic field will be built on the site of the old school, which was built in the 1960s, is overcrowded and at the end of its lifespan.