Now that classes aren’t in session, work is hitting high gear for crews on some of the Bibb County school system’s capital projects.
Besides smaller projects across the county, a $450,000 renovation is underway at Porter Elementary School in the southern part of the county. Classrooms are getting a fresh coat of paint, new flooring and furniture upgrades, but the bulk of the effort is to make the front part of the school more secure.
“We’re basically moving the admin office to the exterior wall so we can create a secure entrance into the school,” said Jason Daniel, executive director of capital projects for the district.
Newer schools are already built with a similar layout, which requires all visitors to pass through the main office before entering the rest of the school. The Porter renovation will provide the same effect for an older building.
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“We also want to make sure that all our old buildings, that are still good, are getting the same amenities,” Daniel said.
Work is also continuing at the new Veterans Elementary School, a consolidation of Barden and Morgan elementary schools. Besides moving some items from those schools to Veterans, there is still kitchen equipment that has yet to be delivered as well as landscaping to be done.
Beyond that, the Veterans project is nearing completion.
“There’s just a few loose ends there,” Daniel said. “If we wanted to put that building to use now, we could.”
The district’s career education program is also on the move this summer, from the Hutchings building on Riverside Drive to the Dr. Robert J. Williams Complex on Anthony Road, formerly known as the Promise Center. On Friday, offices were being moved to the new location.
“That one’s on the final stages,” Daniel said.
With that move completed, there will be room at the Hutchings facility for the district’s alternative school, in addition to the central kitchen and other district-level departments that are already there. Daniel said that moving the alternative school to Riverside Drive will allow for credit recovery opportunities and a room for disciplinary hearings on campus.
“It’ll give them a little more room to operate,” he said.
Alternative school programs have been held at the Burghard Opportunity Center.
Other than those specific projects, classrooms across the district are being upgraded to the necessary power and network availability to support new interactive panels and camera systems. Daniel said that meant visiting each school to see what exactly would be needed.
“That’s what’s occupying most of my time this summer,” he said.
Additionally, the school board recently approved heating and air upgrades for Alexander II Magnet School and Vineville Academy.
School is set to begin in Bibb County on Aug. 1.
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