Jackson County School Board Director of Facilities and Construction, Stuart Wiggins gave an update on the K-8 school at last week’s school board workshop.
He was pleased to announce that they were seeing walls at the construction site, “We are excited about the progress that is being made. Of course, construction started before the storm and we were concerned that the storm may cause a delay but it hasn’t.” Wiggins said Culpepper Construction has done a really good job of staying on schedule.
Wiggins said the kitchen and cafeteria has walls and adjacent to it is the dining hall that will double as a multi-purpose room. Wiggins said, “We will be able to feed several classes of children in there and when we take the tables out and just put chairs, we will be able to seat the entire school to watch anything that would be on the stage. It’s going to be pretty big.”
Stuart outlined the complexity of the cafeteria, “With this school being a K-8, there will actually be two separate dining areas with a moveable wall. The larger dining hall will be elementary which will be K-5 and then the six through eight will be on the smaller side.”
Wiggins said the next building to be constructed will be the middle school gymnasium that will be on the north end of the middle school wing. Once the gymnasium is built, they will start building the classrooms which will run down the west side of the campus. There will be three separate hallways that will tie together to a main hallway that will encompass the entire middle school wing. The middle school wing on the south end will terminate at the administration media center wing.
Wiggins said also at the completion of the middle school gym, behind the cafeteria they will start building the small P.E. facility for the elementary school. Following that, they will start building the elementary classrooms which will be four separate hallways that will be tied together down to the administration media center wing.
About the completion date, Wiggins said, “We are still on time to finish around May 14, 2020. This will still give us plenty of time to move the three schools into this building prior to school starting in August of 2020. We are about 14-15 months away from being finished.”
About watching the project and seeing it come this far, Wiggins said, “I hesitate to compare it to the birth of a child because that is such a God’s blessing but it is almost like a birth. It has been an exciting experience. There was a lot of labor, a lot of pain to get this project started and going but with a lot of help from our legislators, our representatives and our senators, we got the funding and now it’s coming to fruition. It is a tremendous project and it excites me. It’s one of those things you feel good about.” Wiggins added this was a good way to end his time with the school board since he is nearing the end of his tenure.
Superintendent Larry Moore was equally excited about the progress on the K-8 School, “We are very excited with the progress of the construction of the K-8 school. I was fortunate to sit in on one of the construction meetings last week and the construction company, the job managers are very confident that they are on time with the project even with the weather we have had. It is exciting.”
About the consolidation of the three schools into one K-8 school, Moore said, “It is a much-needed move and a cost saving measure. It will be well over $1 million a year that we will be able to realize in actual savings. It will be a major boost to the Jackson County School system just from an operational standpoint.”