Crews working to get school upgrades complete by first day of classes Aug. 22
When students return to school next week in Georgetown County, they will see the results of construction that has taken place over the summer at many of the facilities.
The most noticeable work during the summer has taken place at McDonald Elementary, Maryville Elementary, and Waccamaw High schools but other schools have also received upgrades.
District Superintendent Dr. Randy Dozier said it has been more than 12 years since new schools were built in the county and a routine maintenance plan will keep the district from having to spend money to replace schools that get in poor condition.
“It’s important that we continue to maintain and keep our buildings up. If we do that, hopefully we will never need a $130 million bond referendum again,” Dozier said, referring to the 1998 referendum in which voters gave the district the OK to build new schools and renovate others. “We want to keep our facilities current and useful.”
The Waccamaw Neck’s only high school has received the lion’s share of the renovation funds during this construction cycle.
According to Lisa Ackerman, director of procurement and special projects, about $6.9 million has been spent at that school which has received, among other things, a new 600-seat “performing arts center.”
Dozier said the new auditorium is not only an asset to the school but also is being used by the community. He said in the month of May, 10 to 15 “non school events” were held in the new facility.
Other work that has taken place at Waccamaw High this summer includes the transformation of the media center into six new classrooms. The old auditorium is now a new state of the art media center.
Two classrooms have been converted into a new science lab.
Ackerman said altogether, 12,800 square feet has been added to the school.
“This project is being funded from ARRA funds and savings from other projects funded by general obligation debt,” she said.
McDonald Elementary School
Ackerman said about $1.5 million has been spent at McDonald Elementary School where about 4,900 square feet has been added.
This includes the addition of a state of the art media center.
The former media center has been renovated into two special needs classrooms, which includes remedial HVAC and electrical service.
The school now has additional storage space and new restrooms at the multi-purpose room.
This project is being funded in whole through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, specifically Qualified School Construction Bonds, Ackerman said.
At Maryville Elementary, about $1.8 million has been spent adding about 4,900 square feet to the facility.
This includes a new state of the art media center. The former media center has been transformed into two new classrooms and a storage space.
Other work at the school this summer includes:
• Remedial work in the existing multipurpose room (plaster repair)
• Re-roofing work
• Addition of a permanent platform in the existing cafeteria
• Additional storage space outside of the cafeteria but within an existing entrance way
• Paved parking at the front of school
This project is being funded from a multitude of sources: ARRA funds, savings from other QSCB projects and annual general obligation debt, Ackerman said.
Ackerman said the carpet in four schools has been taken out and replaced with tile. They are: Andrews Elementary, Browns Ferry Elementary, Georgetown Middle and Kensington Elementary.
An additional parking lot was added at Waccamaw Elementary while additional parking spaces were added at Andrews High, Carvers Bay Middle, Georgetown Middle and Rosemary Middle.
New sound systems were installed at Andrews High, Carvers Bay High, Carvers Bay Middle, Georgetown Middle and Waccamaw Intermediate.
Restroom renovations took place at Georgetown High and grounds work has taken place at Andrews High.
“We are implementing electronic access control at all district sites,” Ackerman added.
She said all the work that has taken place has been done “to enhance the overall learning experience for our children and our community.”
Dozier said all the projects have finished ahead of schedule at or below the amount budgeted.
By Scott Harper
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