Morris Brandon Principal Kara Stimpson, fifth from left, was joined by Tiffany Momon, Tameka Small, Danny Gutlay, Tracey Hudson, Therese Halligan, Ellen Kenimer and Ann Gabbert at a groundbreaking ceremony in July.

Morris Brandon Elementary School’s construction will continue at both its campuses, but the first phase of renovations is complete, school officials say.

The school’s Primary Center, which opened in 2009 for kindergarten through first grade to alleviate overcrowding, now also contains a media center, three new classrooms and two office spaces, Principal Kara Stimpson said. The expansion was completed over the summer, Stimpson said.

The first phase of construction began in May and the second phase is scheduled to be completed by December. A groundbreaking took place in July, Stimpson said.

The 13,474-square-foot project expands and renovates the existing primary school, which was originally built in 1954. Extensive renovations in 2009 added a three-story classroom wing and added to the auditorium.

The current addition, scheduled for completion in December, consists of a gymnasium/auditorium, relocated media center, new music room, additional classrooms, offices and support spaces, and a unified, terraced soccer field / playground and play court.

The second phase involves ongoing work for adding space so second graders can join the Primary Center. One gym, one music room and four traditional classrooms will be available for programming.

“As a two-campus school, it will be huge for us to have the teachers in their own classrooms,” Stimpson said.

Jere Smith, the director of capital improvements at Parrish Construction Group, said the Atlanta Public Schools several years ago adopted a model design for several schools, including Morris Brandon, that allowed separate buildings to house different grades.

“It served the student population better to have the school remain together, but split the campuses [to combat crowding],” he said.

Now that the new playground is open, students and parents are getting more excited about the renovation, Stimpson said.

“They’ve been expecting to see this for a few years and they are excited to know we are going to have the space we need,” Stimpson said. “There are some growing pains, but overall people are really excited.”