Walls are set to begin rising soon on a $1.2-million addition to the Sarnia Christian School.
Len Smit, principal of the private elementary school on the corner of Pontiac Drive and Exmouth Street, said construction began over the summer, following demolition of a section of the school building, dating back to the late 1950s, that held a library, staff room, resource room and storage space.
The first major upgrading at the school in approximately 30 years will add specialty classrooms, individual and small-group learning spaces, a common area and new main entrance.
"The hydro, plumbing, footings and the floor are ready, so hopefully the walls will start next week," Smit said.
That's also when approximately 120 students are scheduled to return to class at the school, but construction isn't expected to disrupt them.
"We are a little tight on space, but everything should work fine," Smit said.
A support wall that is insulated and covered on the inside dividing the section of the school where student are learning from the area under construction.
"So, we're all good to go," Smit said.
"We're just excited for another school year to start, and there's a lot of positive things happening here."
It's anticipated the project will be finished by late winter, or early spring, Smit added.
"The first thing they want to do is get it closed in before winter, and then they'll work on the inside," he said.
"It's exciting. It has been about five years of planning to get to this point."
Students and parents joined school officials at the end of the school year in June for a ground-breaking ceremony.
Smit has said the addition is designed for "21st-century learning," with spaces where students can work collaboratively in small groups, or quietly on their own.
It will also include a fine arts room, science room and band room.
"We're building the spaces to provide the type of learning that we wanted to have," Smit said.
There is still approximately $250,000 to be raised for the project.
Because private schools aren't funded by the provincial government, the school has been fundraising.
"We're going to ramp that up again, as soon as school starts," Smit said.