The new Commerce High School building is now certified for occupancy.
Superintendent of schools James E. “Mac” McCoy said the state fire marshal approved the building Friday — which happened to be the last day of school before the winter break.
The fire marshal’s blessing was the last hurdle to be cleared before staff could begin the move into the new building in earnest.
McCoy said individual teachers will be notified by e-mail over the holidays as to when their classrooms are ready to be occupied in case they want to get them organized early. While students will not return to school until Tuesday, Jan. 11, staff will come back Thursday, Jan. 6 — in-service days put into the school calendar with this move in mind.
Comprising more than 125,000 square feet and costing upwards of $14 million, the school is built to house 650 students. The existing school is 59,000 square feet, and most of that will be demolished this spring or summer after the move is completed and any salvageable furniture or equipment is sold.
McCoy said the board of education is still working on a dedication/open house for the school. While no date has been set, he predicted it would take place in late January or early February.
The first official use of the building will likely be for a basketball game, and that could come as early as Friday, Jan. 7.