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By Renee Batti
Almanac News Editor
Community members curious about the progress of the massive Hillview Middle School reconstruction project at Santa Cruz Avenue and Elder Street in Menlo Park can get an update by school district officials at a meeting on Tuesday, Aug. 16.
The meeting is set for 6:30 p.m. in the Hillview library at 1100 Elder Ave.
Hillview is the Menlo Park City School District's last campus to be renovated in a construction project that's expected to be finished in September 2012. Construction began in summer 2010, and existing buildings, most of which ultimately will be demolished, are being used to keep classes going on the campus as new buildings are erected.
At the Aug. 16 meeting, Ahmad Sheikholeslami, the district's director of facilities and construction, will give a progress report, and community members will have a chance to ask questions and discuss issues or concerns.
Maurice Ghysels, the district's new superintendent, is also expected to attend.
Earlier this summer, the district announced it was taking advantage of the longer days by starting the construction work earlier in the day -- at 7 a.m. -- to keep the project on schedule. The early start time is expected to end Aug. 22.
The campus renovation was launched to address the burgeoning enrollment in the district, which has three schools serving kindergarten through fifth-grade students but only one middle school.
A number of Hillview's neighbors protested the plan to rebuild the campus and increase the school's enrollment, urging the district to instead create a second middle school program on another campus.
Once the project is completed, the 9.5-acre Hillview campus will have some 85,000 square feet of new facility space, including several two-story buildings. Among the new facilities will be a performing arts/multipurpose building with seating for 400; nine science classrooms; music and choir classrooms; and an administration, library and media building.
The existing gym is being modernized.
Go to tinyurl.com/Hillview-163 for more information on the project, including pictures and a construction webcam.