ELLIJAY, Ga. – With the majority of the renovations complete and everything ready for the students, it is confirmed that the project will not reach 100% before Tuesday’s start of term.
However, the project has not moved construction into classrooms and only minor details remain in student areas. During a special called meeting of the Board of Education, Gilmer County Charter Schools Superintendent Dr. Shanna Downs told the board that the biggest remaining item is that the staff furniture will not arrive before the start of school.
With that said, Downs informed the board that critical staff will be in the front office utilizing a built-in desk in the front office and utilizing what they have available as opposed to moving in older furniture just to moved out again.
This means some administrative faculty will utilize the school’s media center while they await the new desks and furniture.
One minor setback saw relief at the meeting as well for the media center as the project survived a surprise rain during roof work. Insurance replaced the carpet after the area flooded. With the new carpet installed, the media center is already repaired and ready for use.
Walking through the building certainly shows the area with a feeling of an upgrade. The cafeteria and commons area have combined for an open space. The commons murals are gone, but as of this point, it is not certain if the school will repaint the murals or seek a different decoration for the area.
The commons area now caps with a centralized trophy case that will soon showcase all the trophies the school has acquired and those yet to come.
The new flooring and roofing reach throughout the administrative offices. A new administrative conference room and renovations to the nurse’s station are just two of the expansions allowed by pushing the offices forward against what used to be the glass of the entrance area.
With the new single-point, secured entrance, those taking the front entrance to the school will walk right past the Linda Miller Memorial Theater into the commons area. The other hallway students and visitors are used to traveling down now reaches a dead-end just past the back edge of the media center allowing an emergency exit onto the grass.
While talks continue about the next phase of renovations to come, exact plans have not been drawn, but discussion indicated a possibility to angle the corner of the media center and adding glass along the hallway, giving the media center more of an internet cafe styling.
As for this year, the construction is wrapping up in the hallways of the offices and awaits the last details and finishing touches to prepare for the students’ arrival in four days.
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