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Nashua;50.0;http://forecast.weather.gov/images/wtf/small/nskc.png;2014-10-26 05:15:23
Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Nashua’s Broad Street Elementary begins school amid construction

Broad Street Elementary students returned to a changed school Tuesday morning.

Renovations started last spring meant fewer trees, expanded parking and a new entrance to the building for students, who started classes along with all other Nashua schools Tuesday. ...

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Broad Street Elementary students returned to a changed school Tuesday morning.

Renovations started last spring meant fewer trees, expanded parking and a new entrance to the building for students, who started classes along with all other Nashua schools Tuesday.

“Things are a little different today,” said Principal Christine Breen.

Before the buses arrived, Breen said she had already seen parents and students approaching the old entrance, which is
currently fenced off and busy with construction activity.

Posted signs and a receiving line of school staff helped direct parents and students toward the new entrance on the side of the building by the bus loop. Breen said the staff will keep an eye on things, and provide feedback for the next round of student pick-ups and drop-offs.

“Today we’re just helping the kids find their way,” said Carol Duffy, Broad Street School speech team member and one of the attendants outside the school. Duffy said the car loop on the lower parking lot, and the bus loop on the upper parking lot, is the same set-up as last year.

Contractors were on site before 7 a.m., and continued working as students arrived. School buses passed construction equipment and the crowds of arriving families were dotted with hard-hat workers. Staff lined the students’ path from the car drop off at the old entrance, up the hill to the bus loop and new entrance, located by the renovated offices.

“It was good, we had to direct a different traffic flow, we had a security officer at the old entrance along with staff attendants, it was all hands on deck,” Breen said.

Near the main entrance, contractors worked on a new mechanical room. “We’re getting new ventilation, roof, heating...the whole footprint of the office was renovated,” said Breen.

The school gymnasium has been temporarily converted into classroom space to accommodate students displaced by construction work. “Every six weeks, another grade level will cycle in,” Breen said. Presently, fourth and fifth grade classes occupy the space, along with two special education classes.

School nurse Marsha Peterson said she was happy with her renovated office space.

“The students can have their own entrance, they don’t have to come through the office. We are open for business,” she said.

Visual art teacher Julia Luteran said the renovated office allows for a much better flow.

“The new entrance, the whole approach to the building on the upper lot will be finished in November,” said Luteran.

Student pick-up at the end of the day went smoothly as well, although students will still need time to adjust, said Breen. “It was good, but it will still take a couple of days to figure out. There are kids unsure of the bus procedure...we might have to make some adjustments.” In the meantime, school staff, security personnel and crossing guards will continue helping students navigate their way through the transition period.

Construction at Broad Street Elementary is expected to last through next summer.

Tina Forbes can be reached at 594-6402 or tforbes@nashuatelegraph.com. Also, follow Forbes on Twitter (@Telegraph_TinaF).