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Editorial: The work ahead

With the speeches completed and the breaking of ground — thank you, Class of 2013 for the ceremonial shovel! — work on the future home of Greenfield High School is officially under way.

All eyes are on the prize: A modern building that is better fit for educating high school students in the 21st century. From energy efficiency and interactive technology to a renovated full-size auditorium and athletic fields (including, finally, an outdoor running track) Greenfield will have a public school campus that doesn’t take a back seat to any in the region.

We can imagine that the progress will be something to watch as a new high school takes shape from the ground up, and sections of the old building, constructed almost 60 years ago, come down. Barring any unforeseen difficulties or delays — and, we hope, not a whiff of the sort of problems that conjure up the middle school renovation nightmares — construction will be completed so that this year’s freshman class will be the first class to graduate from the new building.

As the community looks forward with anticipation, there’s other aspects of this project that everyone has to keep an eye on:

Most immediately, motorists should drive with care around the high school. One of the first impacts of the construction is with the access to the building and property. Students, staff and the public have a new entrance and exit, one that has also closed down the normal routes for traffic. This means more young people crossing Silver Street near the school around 7:30 a.m. and 2 p.m.

Drivers without students who travel along Silver at these times might want to think about changing their route during these times. This also means there will be more vehicles parking on Davis and Cleveland streets. Here, too, drivers should exercise caution.

People should also keep a watch on the construction site. While the contractors and school administration will all be doing their best to keep people from places where they’re not supposed to be, they can use the public’s help in seeing there are no attempts at vandalism ... or accidents.

The public should also keep an eye on the progress of the work and make a call to school or town officials if something doesn’t seem right.

We go back to middle school project where rain was pouring through windows that were not properly secured, resulting in damaged floors, etc. and in added costs.

Hopefully, there will be nothing amiss or out of place during the school’s construction.

But having the public provide another set of eyes will help ensure that the road ahead remains clear.

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