The public got its first view of the O'Neill Public School's (OPS) $13 million building project.

Construction began in July 2018 on the north side of the structure with a new science wing and then moved to the west side for the new Center for Teaching and Learning and Special Education rooms. 

The south side consisting of junior high classrooms and a new entrance to the facility will also be ready for classes this month.

The construction project will now continue with the rest of the renovations including the seven new classrooms, gymnasium, locker rooms and band and choir room.  

"We are optimistic the new gym and commons and concession area will be ready by the first of the year," said OPS Athletic Director Nick Hostert.

"There is a slim chance we may be able to use the gym for some activities next year and we are really hoping to hold the 2020 graduation ceremonies in it."

When youth return to school for the 2019-20 fiscal year, junior and senior high school students will all enter through the main student entrance.

"Next year the junior high will mainly come through the main student entrance and high school students will enter through the new activities entrance on the south side towards the new gym," said Principal Corey Fisher. "We are trying to keep the junior high students out of the high school areas as much as possible containing them to the new construction on the south side."

"We are so happy to see the modulars gone from the landscape now and the new facilities will work out well in our educational plans," he added.

The completion of the building project is anticipated for the summer of 2020.

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