TICONDEROGA - Ticonderoga Central School's $23.8 million building and renovation project reached a milestone last week.
The new Ti Elementary-Middle School cafeteria opened to students.
A ribbon-cutting ceremony and board of education meeting christened the new 3,500 square foot addition that can seat 450 people.
A new science wing at the middle school and new special education rooms at the elementary school have also been opened to students.
"This represents the completion of out first major milestone of this project," said John McDonald, school superintendent. "With the cafeteria finished, we can now convert the old cafeteria to temporary classrooms and begin the work for replacing carpets and ceiling tiles."
The project, approved by district voters in September 2007, also includes an addition and renovations at the high school.
"Work is a little slower at the high school, partially because we needed to finish the cafeteria to create the swing space during the school year for the classroom renovations," McDonald said.
All new construction is expected to be complete by the fall of 2010, McDonald said, while renovations to the existing buildings will be finished by the fall of 2011.
Prior to the ceremony, visitors were given a tour of the elementary-middle school and given an update on the construction effort.
The cafeteria addition will provide an open, well-lit multi-purpose space, according to Glen Carpenter, construction manager for CSArch, the project architect.
The cafeteria features a series of skylights on the east side and high clerestory windows on the west side that will illuminate the cafeteria with natural light while also highlighting the exposed brick wall of the existing gymnasium. The cafeteria also features a full-service kitchen with walk-in freezers, cooler units, a dry goods storage room, offices and lockers for staff. The new space will accommodate community and school gatherings.