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A modern, fresh look for Cairo’s Eastside Elementary School has been chosen and construction is projected to begin in the spring.
Grady County School System officials met with architect Greg Smith Monday afternoon to finalize plans for the new construction to take place at Eastside. According to Grady County School Superintendent Dr. Kermit Gilliard, Smith will take the drawings, make suggested changes and develop building plans to submit for approval by the facilities division of the Georgia Department of Education.
Grady County is eligible for $3 million from the state for renovations of Eastside, and Dr. Gilliard says he is working to keep the price tag of new construction at the school also in the $3 million range, which would come from Education Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax proceeds.
The Grady County Board of Education recently named PDC Construction of Bainbridge as the construction manager for the project and Dr. Gilliard said that PDC personnel would begin soon soliciting bids from subcontractors.
Also involved in the planning has been Eastside Principal Chiquila Wright. Dr. Gilliard said he hopes work can begin in March or April and it will take approximately nine months to complete the construction of the new buildings, which will be built in front of the existing main entrance.
Plans call for the construction of a new administration building, new cafeteria, new kitchen and an addition to the school’s existing library.
Dr. Gilliard said beginning work before the end of the current school term will only impact the location for pick up and drop off of students who come to school in parent transportation. “We will lose the parking in front of the building during the construction and next summer we will move the playground from the front of the school to the back of the campus,” Dr. Gilliard said.
Then, in the summer of 2020 and the summer of 2021 the existing pre-k, kindergarten and first grade hall will be renovated. The old cafeteria will be converted into classroom space, according to the superintendent.
In related news, Dr. Gilliard reported:
Work on the new Navy JROTC building on the campus of Cairo High School is projected to be completed by early April. The superintendent said he is hopeful the new building can be moved into when faculty and students return from spring break in 2020.
Architect Smith is also completing plans for a new cafeteria at Northside Elementary School. Work is projected to begin in January. The new facility will be constructed on the north end of the campus on 10th Avenue N.W. State funds are also available for a portion of this project and the remainder will come from ESPLOST. Dr. Gilliard says the existing cafeteria will be converted into a multipurpose facility.
Smith is also working on plans for a new gym at Shiver Elementary School to replace a metal building that is currently utilized as a school gym. Work on that project is expected to begin next summer.
Another major project for the summer of 2020 will be the renovation of the primary and middle school wings at Whigham School. That project includes new floor covering and fresh paint. New HVAC systems and new LED lighting have already been installed at Whigham. A new covered bus ramp will be constructed at the front of the school and a new facade for the school will be built.