Change not only is on its way to the Williamsport Area School District, but it can be seen getting closer to completion each day.
As the doors to the district's schools open later this month for the start of a new school year, it will mark the last year as the district the community's come to know.
The most noticeable change to many is the construction that is ongoing at the site of the former Roosevelt Middle School, 2800 W. Fourth St. The building is being renovated, plus an addition is under construction, to become the Williamsport Area Middle School.
CRAIG S. McKIBBEN JR./Sun-Gazette
Foreman George Dickerson, center, checks out the progress of renovations to the former Roosevelt Middle School on West Fourth Street on Monday.
With administration offices connected to the school building, Dr. Don Adams, assistant superintendent, said having a front-row seat to the project's progress is exciting.
"It's an exciting time for the Williamsport Area School District and the community. The positioning of the middle school next to the high school will lead to some great educational opportunities," he said.
According to a district update, the $32.5 million project is set to be completed on budget and on time for an August 2013 opening.
Additions should be completely enclosed by the end of the calendar year, and the school's campus also will include sports fields.
When completed, the new middle school is expected to house about 800 students.
But the middle school project is just one piece of the change. The district also will be undergoing a grade reconfiguration at the start of the 2013-14 school year.
After deciding to close Round Hills and Sheridan elementary schools at the end of the 2012-13 school year and to keep Stevens Elementary School open, the schools for the new configuration were set.
The new structure will feature four elementary schools that will serve those in kindergarten through third grade, two intermediate schools for students in grades four through six, one middle school for seventh- and eighth-grade students and one high school to remain unchanged.
That is a change from a structure of six elementary schools with kindergarten through fifth grades, three middle schools serving grades six through eight and a high school of ninth-grade students through 12th.
Adams added that the setup will create a "nice educational flow for us."
"All of those are just exciting opportunities for us," Adams said.
Although Dr. Kathleen Kelley, superintendent, was not available for comment, in an upcoming district newsletter she shares how a smooth transition really is up to the community.
"Change occurs constantly," she said in her message. "We can either embrace it or fear it. Which will you do with your children?"
The district is changing for the better, Adams added.
"From an instructional (and) curriculum perspective, I think it's really exciting to see some of the changes that we can make that can affect (the students) positively," he said.