A long-planned $81 million renovation of Twin Towers Middle School in the City of Middletown, New York, will start construction in June.
Built around 1940, and currently serving about 1,000 students, the middle school building is deemed by school officials to be operating above functional capacity.
Student enrollment at Twin Towers has been declining by a few dozen per year since 2019, a trend that is estimated to continue in the near future, according to school data and projections.
Through the renovation, the old building will take on new spaces, including three general classrooms, three special subject classrooms, one music room, a science lab, and a cafeteria.
New construction and renovation of existing building space will cost about $61 million.
Another $17 million goes to a new heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system.
Outside the building, there will be a new drop-off and pick-up design and additional play fields, which are estimated to cost around $3 million.
Funding sources for the project are borrowed money, capital reserves and fund balance of the Middletown School District, financial aid from New York state, and federal pandemic dollars.
The district plans to take out a 15-year loan of more than $35 million.
About $18 million in federal dollars are applicable to the project under the American Rescue Plan Act and the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act.
The Twin Tower project was approved by district voters through a referendum vote in 2021 along with another improvement at the Maple Hill Annex at Truman Moon Elementary School, with a combined price tag of $83 million.
Starting in June, construction crews will work on phase one of the renovation, which covers asbestos abatement, new drop-off loops, window replacements, masonry work, and geothermal well drilling.
The district is applying for a new grant available for disadvantaged communities—up to $4 million per building—to install advanced geothermal heating systems for Twin Towers.
Bidding for the phase one work will open on March 28.
Phase two of the project, which constitutes the bulk of the renovation, will start in the spring of 2024 and covers the new additions to and upgrading of existing space inside the building.
The entire renovation is expected to be complete by fall 2025.