Work on Hudson school buildings continues over summer

Board approves construction contracts

April Helms
Kent Weeklies
The Hudson school district is constructing a new middle school near the current middle school.

HUDSON – Work on the new middle school and the expansion at Ellsworth Hill Elementary School is on budget and on schedule, while work has been approved for Lavelli Field as well as McDowell and East Woods elementary schools.

The Hudson Board of Education at its May 28 meeting unanimously approved guaranteed maximum price amendments to the agreement between Hammond Construction and the school board for several school construction projects. Hammond Construction, which is in Canton, was hired by the district in February for construction management.

The school board approved two amendments: one which gives the green light to work on McDowell and East Woods elementary schools, and the other giving approval for work on Lavelli Field near Hudson Middle School.

The first sets a cost of $19.7 million, while the contract for Lavelli Field sets a $1 million cost.

Bill Schurman, partner with Hammond Construction, said that the work on Lavelli Field will include new bleachers, a new track, a new press box and replacing the fencing. The work also will include upgrades to the electric service, which he said “is currently not code compliant.”

“Not only are these upgrades welcome but they will significantly improve the safety of Lavelli Field and its use,” said Board President Dave Zuro.

Improvements for East Woods, which is used for the district’s fourth- and fifth-grade students, includes an 18,000-square-foot, two-story expansion, which will add 14 classrooms. Once the expansion and other improvements are completed, third graders also will go to this school, which will be renamed East Woods Intermediate School.

The expansion at East Woods will include a new elevator to make the new section compliant with ADA, Peterson said.

Both East Woods and McDowell will have new paint, flooring, ceilings, new interior doors, new cabinetry, restroom upgrades, lighting replacement and more. Lockers will be replaced at both buildings, with cubbies replacing lockers at McDowell. Both buildings also will have partial roof replacements done.

Construction and renovation work at East Woods and McDowell for June through Summer 2021, with the buildings ready for the 2021-22 academic year. When the work is completed, East Woods will be for grades three through five, and McDowell will be for pre-kindergarten and kindergarten.

Schurman said improvements also will include improving traffic flow issues, such as separating “parent from bus traffic.”

Middle School and Ellsworth Hill

During a May 21 work session, Jeff Adams, the vice president of Hammond Construction, said that workers have made good progress at both Ellsworth Hill and the new $46 million, 181,000-square-foot middle school. 

“There are three or four more doors to install,” Adams said. “We are removing some temp equipment.”

In addition, grading work was being done for sidewalks and curbs, as well as pouring concrete for sidewalks, Adams said. In the cafeteria area, workers were pouring the last of the sidewalks and patios.

“You can see how it’s going to take shape,” Adams said. “In the interior, the last little bits of drywall is being finished. There’s ceiling installation, down to main entrance and cafeteria area. The gym and athletic areas, the ceilings are going in, and there are just a few more areas to paint.”

Adams said he anticipated the shipment and delivery of kitchen equipment by June.

“We are right on schedule on construction,” Adams said. “The first wave of furniture should arrive by end of [May]. We have had a few challenges with the pandemic, but nothing that will impact academics, just a few loose little pieces here and there.”

The middle school is scheduled to be open for the district’s sixth, seventh, and eighth grades in the 2020-21 school year.

Improvements at Ellsworth Hill, which will cost about $6.14 million and add 11 classrooms for the district’s first and second graders, “has had great movement,” Adams said.

“The furniture arrived earlier this week,” Adams said. He added that “a couple more shipments” were expected in June.

“Last piece that we have is the roof replacement,” he said. “We’ve torn off about 60 percent of the existing roof. Gutters and shingling will happen in two to three weeks. Once the tearoff complete, it will only be about a week and a half, two weeks to replace. We are a couple months ahead of schedule and we will be completed well in advance of the school year.”

Ellsworth Hill is scheduled to open for first and second grades next year as well.

Evamere, which currently is the building for kindergarten and first grade, will eventually be decommissioned as a school and turned into the central office for the district. This transformation will tentatively be complete by the 2022-23 school year.

These and other renovations are being funded through an $81.5 million, 4.97-mill bond issue passed by voters in November 2017.

Reporter April Helms can be reached at 330-541-9423,, or @AprilKHelms_RPC