Local

Construction projects expected to wrap up before school starts

With about a week left before school begins, workmen with Phillips Flooring in Rincon, Ga., replace floor tiles in a fifth-grade science class Thursday afternoon at Whale Branch Middle School. Here, Roscoe Winter uses a power scraper to remove the old, worn out tiles while Joe Wilds, left, puts down new ones.
With about a week left before school begins, workmen with Phillips Flooring in Rincon, Ga., replace floor tiles in a fifth-grade science class Thursday afternoon at Whale Branch Middle School. Here, Roscoe Winter uses a power scraper to remove the old, worn out tiles while Joe Wilds, left, puts down new ones. BOB SOFALY | The Beaufort Gazette

Nearly all of the summer construction projects under way in Beaufort County public schools -- totaling about $18.5 million -- are on track to be finished by Aug. 17, the first day of school for most students.

"We are making good progress," said Chris Poe, the district's facilities planning and construction officer. "We'll be ready for school to start. We might still have a few things still hanging, but the majority of work will be done."

The renovation projects are part of the district's five-year capital improvement plan developed before voters passed a $162.7 million bond referendum in 2008.

Projects included:

* Painting the interior of 12 schools.

* Re-roofing three schools.

* Installing a secured entrance -- which will force visitors to pass through a school's front office before entering other parts of the building -- at all schools.

* Giving two middle schools a new gym floor and two others a new track.

* Removing all mobile classrooms from Okatie Elementary.

* Equipping all schools with wireless Internet access and installing additional interactive whiteboards in classrooms.

At its July retreat, the Beaufort County Board of Education approved an additional $20 million in renovation projects for next summer. Among those renovations are $2 million worth of security projects, including security camera upgrades and card access control for all schools.

Many of the renovations were requested by principals or by the facilities and maintenance staff during their annual assessment of the district's buildings.

  Comments