Construction crews at Brownwood High School and Woodland Heights Elementary School have been racing the clock this summer, knowing that hundreds of students will be returning to class Monday.

Work was continuing over the weekend, an indication of how close that race with time has been.

“We’re going to be ready,” Brownwood Independent School District Superintendent Reece Blincoe vowed Friday afternoon. “They’ll be working over the weekend. It won’t be perfect, but we’ll be ready.”

The renovations are part of a $29.4 million facilities improvement project authorized by voters in February 2005. Now in its third year, crews typically want to make the most of the summer months when they don’t have to work around students and teachers, and students and teachers don’t have to work around them.

“The classrooms will be ready to go,” Blincoe said about the work at Woodland Heights. “There will be just the single entry in front, so there will be some congestion. Some work will remain to be completed, but that should be done in about a week or so. Bob (Turner, the school’s principal), the teachers and staff will be there to help the students.”

Blincoe added that the hallways in the building are ready, and that the new office - downstairs, by the entrance - is almost complete this weekend.

“I know they’re still working in the tech area,” Blincoe added.

Even though renovations were continuing last week, Woodland Heights was able to hold a “meet the teacher” gathering there Thursday evening.

Construction has been expected to continue at two areas of the Brownwood High School campus through the fall semester, but returning students will find the front entrance open and the administrative offices back in their former location - with a new look.

“A few teachers will be in temporary classes and will be relocated in two to three weeks,” Blincoe said. “But there are pathways to all classrooms.”

School officials have said all renovations under the bond package are expected to be completed by the first of 2009.