GROVE CITY – As construction continues at Hillview Intermediate Center, parents and students need to be aware of a few changes once school starts.

During Monday night’s board work session, school officials shared a few updates about the project, and the days and weeks leading up to Aug. 26, when students return to class in the Grove City Area School District.

Assistant Superintendent Dr. Joshua Weaver explained some new traffic patterns that parents will see at Hillview and the middle school.

It’s a temporary inconvenience for permanent improvement, he said.

The parking area in front of Hillview is fenced off for construction activities, and no cars may enter or exit West Main Street when school starts; that will be designated for bus traffic.

At the end of the school day, buses will exit via Liberty and Main streets. Passenger vehicles must use Liberty.

Staff members will park near the community garden; that lot will also be used for parents dropping off and picking up students, he said.

There are not enough sidewalks to ensure safe pedestrian traffic through an active construction zone, so the district is providing bus transportation for all Hillview and middle school students.

Road work on Liberty Street is expected to wrap up before the school year starts, and police and school officials will be outside the school to help direct traffic.

Weaver expects these temporary traffic changes to last through the school year.

“This will drastically improve when it’s finished,” he said, noting that the information is going out to families.

Visit www.grovecity.k12.pa.us to view a map of the new traffic pattern.

Also, Hillview will be without a working kitchen for the first few months of the school year.

Weaver assures parents that the district will be providing a variety of hot and cold meals for lunch.

In other Hillview news:

Superintendent Dr. Jeffrey Finch reported on a few change orders, which he said are expected during large construction projects.

The district has $1 million in its contingency fund for change orders for this project, which costs $37.6 million. About $40,000 has been used from the contingency fund for change orders.

“That’s a good thing,” he said.

Not every change order is an additional bill, and the construction team meets every two weeks to review the project. Right now, the Hillview expansion is almost complete, then the existing building will be renovated.

Finch is authorized to approve change orders without a board vote if they’re under $15,000. 

The board will be voting Monday on a $40,000 change order involving some exterior walls. Crews discovered that some of those walls have insufficient insulation and some moldy spots, he said.

New drywall will have to be hung and insulation added in 10 classrooms. Other rooms are being assessed.

In the meantime, plans are in the works for a “soft opening” to showcase the first phase of the Hillview project.

Finch hopes to hold the event toward the end of September, which will give staff and students time to settle in to the new space.

Anyone who wants to check out the building will be welcome, he said.

Finch noted that he’ll give a report about the beginning of the new school year during Monday’s board meeting, which starts at 6 p.m. in the conference room at the district’s main offices.