Summer construction work underway in the school district | Local News
Many students, teachers and parents are counting down to the last day of the school year, when they can begin to enjoy a short summer respite.
For Mike Blackerby and his staff at the Glynn County Schools Operations Department, however, time starts to tick as the last school bell rings.
Summer vacation offers Blackerby, executive director of school system operations, and his team a chance to complete a significant amount of construction and other maintenance work at district facilities.
“There are a lot fewer people in the building, so it’s easier to get the job done,” he said. “But it puts a certain time on things because that clock starts on the day the kids leave the building. And everything has to be ready for the teachers to come back and get things ready. It’s a big block of time for us to do a lot of work.
The list of things to do this summer is not short.
A new two-story school building is being constructed at St. Simons Elementary School. Artificial turf will be installed on three sports fields. Major renovations underway at three schools need to be completed before the start of the new school year. And then there are all the relatively smaller jobs that need to be done in almost every school building, like paint touch-ups and electrical repairs.
McKnight Construction oversees ongoing work at St. Simons Elementary, which is funded primarily by ESPLOST IV.
Construction of the school’s new two-story building is on schedule, Blackerby said. The structure will house classrooms and the media center, and it is expected to be completed by January 2023.
The next phase of work will be the demolition of other buildings on campus and the construction of a new gymnasium.
Further renovations will take place over the summer at Golden Isles and Oglethorpe Point Elementary Schools and Needwood Middle School. This work is also funded by ESPLOST IV.
“Most of the classroom renovations have already been completed on these, and now summer work is mostly contained around media centers and offices in Needwood and Oglethorpe,” Blackerby said. “And in Golden Isles, since this building is vacant…we are working on the kitchen area. We are remodeling the kitchen during the summer.
Golden Isles Elementary students spent the last school year in the old Altama Elementary School building. The new Altama Elementary opened its doors at the beginning of last school year.
Golden Isles students and teachers will return to their schools early this year.
Work is also underway at various sports facilities, including the installation of artificial turf at Glynn County Stadium and the Glynn Academy training ground. Installation will also begin soon at Brunswick High.
The Glynn County School Board voted in January to approve spending $3.7 million in ESPLOST III funding to install athletic turf at Glynn County Stadium and the Brunswick High and Glynn Academy training grounds. .
FieldTurf, USA, of Calhoun, Georgia, is completing work, which was originally scheduled to be completed July 15 at Glynn Academy and the other two fields August 15.
Supply chain issues have caused delays in installing the artificial turf, Blackerby said, but the district is still on track to be finished at the stadium before the first game of football this fall.
Construction of an additional gymnasium at Glynn Academy will also be largely complete by the first day of school, Blackerby said, but full occupancy is unlikely to be possible until the end of August.
Going through his list of projects, Blackerby said that was enough to keep everyone busy this summer.
“It stretches us at this time of year,” he said. “While for most school systems this may be downtime, this is truly our busiest time.”