Workers pave the walkway in front of Connors Elementary School in Lewiston on Wednesday. Sun Journal photo by Russ Dillingham

LEWISTON — Connors Elementary School on Bartlett Street is almost ready for the big reveal, with an open house scheduled for 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. Monday, June 17.

The walkways are being paved.

The playgrounds are in.

Newly planted grass is growing.

Inside, colored walls and loads of light grace classrooms and halls.

Wednesday was move-in day as truck after truck delivered classroom furniture.

Alex Garcia unloads some of the hundreds of boxes of furniture he and a crew from Earle W. Noyes & Sons Moving Specialists were delivering to the nearly completed Connors Elementary School in Lewiston on Wednesday morning.

But then, the moving-in has been going on for a week, and will continue.

With 76 classrooms, furniture delivery is taking four weeks, from May 21 through June 14. “And it’s every day,” Monday through Friday, said Cathy Pratt, a secretary at the new school, which is next to Lewiston High School. 

Crews move boxes of tables, desks and chairs into halls, then figure out to which classrooms desks and chairs should go. They then assemble each desk and chair.

“It’s not like calling Target and having a chair delivered,” said Pratt, wearing a hard hat in a wing for grades one and two.

The new school is 143,000 square feet, more than two times the size of the Norway Savings Bank Arena in Auburn.

The school will house students from Martel Elementary School, which closes in June, and Longley Elementary, which will become an alternative high school in the fall. The school is being built for 880 students but is expected to have an enrollment of 750 this fall.

Workers pave the walkway in front of the new Connors Elementary School in Lewiston on Wednesday.

Prekindergarten through grade two classrooms will be on the first floor, with grades three through sixth on the second floor.

The school has 46 regular classrooms and 28 specialized classrooms for art, music, STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) and special education. Each classroom will include a bathroom, as opposed to larger bathrooms with stalls. Bathrooms used by one student at a time aims to cut down on behavioral problems.

“Bathrooms are near the top of the list (for behavioral problems occurring),” Superintendent Bill Webster said.

The $45.8 million school is being paid for by the state, except for $2.1 million in local costs for a bigger gymnasium and air conditioning throughout. The new school will host the city’s summer programs next year.

The principal is Sara Simms, now assistant principal in Alexandria, Virginia. When hired in February, Simms was described as a dedicated educator with positive energy. She told the School Committee she is  excited about joining the Lewiston team, and it’s a dream of hers to come to Maine. Simms and her family will arrive in Lewiston the last week of June and she will begin her job July 1, Webster said.

“I am very excited for the community to see this beautiful school,” Webster said. “The Robert V. Connors Elementary School represents the best in elementary education facilities, and I know that there will be great learning taking place within these walls.”


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