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Hillside Expansion Nears Completion

Drone view of constructionIt’s just a matter of weeks before students and staff will move in to the new addition at Hillside Elementary School, which was approved as part of the bond referendum in 2018.
“It’s all coming together and I’m happy to say that we are on schedule and within budget,” said Hastings Business Official Maureen Caraballo, who has been overseeing the work. “The team of architects, designers, construction manager, contractors and trades people have done a top rate job for our students and staff.”
“It’s going to make such a difference,” said Hillside Principal Amy Cazes as she toured the new construction last week. She’s particularly looking forward to making use of the new auditorium/cafeteria (cafetorium), which has been designed for maximum versatility and will accommodate the whole school.
“Until now we have had to go to the high school for our spring concerts and fourth grade moving-up ceremonies,” Cazes said. “Now we will be able to bring our whole school community together more often right here at Hillside.”
In the cafetorium, the area designated for a performance stage is level with the rest of the room, so it can be utilized as extra space; a backstage space can also be used as a music practice space; retractable seating risers will allow everyone to see the stage clearly. The facility also has a kitchen, which will enable the school to provide hot lunch for Hillside students for the first time ever.  
The seating risers in the cafeteria/auditorium are retractable to allow for the space to be used as a cafeteria and open spacThe new addition includes four classrooms to be used for kindergarten and second graders, each with a bathroom; a resource room; two bathrooms; and, a music practice room. “The new space will provide us with ample room for instruction and special programs," said Cazes.
The construction at Hillside also included a new roof, installation of energy-efficient windows, first-floor flooring and brick repointing.
“The new construction is going to make a world of difference to our students, staff, and community,” Cazes concluded. “ We are already planning our Ribbon Cutting to celebrate this special moment for Hastings!"
The first installment of payment on the bond that is financing this expansion, along with updates to the Farragut Complex, is reflected in the proposed 2022-23 school district budget. Voting will take place on Tuesday, May 17.
(May 1, 2022)