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New school construction underway

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July 22, 2004

Albany-- More than 35 million dollars is being spent rebuilding and renovating four Dougherty County schools.

These buildings have withstood decades of wear and tear--the time has come to replace them.

Pieces of Jackson Heights Elementary lay in ruins, but it's a good thing, "Research tells you that student achievement increases, teachers feel good, the moral is up, " says Principal LaZoria Walker about the effects of a new school on the student body.

Several teachers watch as the kindergarten wing is demolished to make room for a new ten million dollar school.

Construction Supervisor Tony Reese says, "At all of the construction projects we have had, the staff really gets excited because everyone wants a new building." There are plenty of other projects going on.

Reese says, "Phase one will be opening August 6th. It will be the two story building for the students, it will be 12 classrooms." Eight million dollars is being spent on Sherwood Elementary. The first phase, this two story building, is just about done, The place is ready, we are moving in furniture, we are getting ready for teachers, we will be ready."

Phase Two is underway--construction on a new gym and media center for Sherwood. But, that is not all.

Reese says, "We are completely gutting the old teachers academy, and we are also complementing that with an addition that will be an L-shape that will attach to the old teachers academy and that will be the new Lincoln Magnate site." The Lincoln Magnate project costs eight million dollars.

Also in the works is a new, 9.6 million dollar Radium Middle School, which will be built in the woods next to the current building.

Back at Jackson Heights, employees say the new construction might be a bit of an inconvenience this year, but it's worth it. Principal Walker says, "Listen--we are going to do it and love doing it because we know what the end result will be--a new school!" A brand new school that is suppose to be ready by next year.

The new Radium Middle School will likely open in late 2006.

Posted at 4:00 p.m. by melissa.kill@walb.com

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