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Improvements to Maryvale schools won’t delay start of academic year

If any student hoped something – say, a long construction project – would delay the start of school in the Maryvale School District, Superintendent Deborah Ziolkowski has some bad news for you.

“We’ll be opening school right on time,” she said during Monday’s Board of Education meeting.

The district is seeing an increase of more than 60 new students in enrollment so far, raising its total to 2,256 for the upcoming 2014-15 school year. “Our class sizes are getting up there.”

District officials were worried, however, about finishing an ongoing $15 million capital project over the summer.

Assistant Superintendent Stephen Lunden said the project was expected to be completed by the start of school, but when it looked like construction would take longer than expected, they began discussing the possibility of extending work until next year.

That, apparently, was the motivation contractors needed to power through the rest of the season.

They improved their efforts, working overtime and turning around major projects in a week.

“We will be ready for the start of school,” Lunden said. “A few weeks ago, I’m not sure anybody would have counted on that.

“These guys were chomping at the bit to get it in.

“They have a pride to get it done before the beginning of the year.”

Some of the major work of the capital project included replacing the windows and unit ventilators in the Maryvale Middle/Intermediate School building, fixing the roof of the Robert A. Binner Educational Center and repaving the student parking lot. The project was approved in 2012.