New middle school for the arts opens Wednesday - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

New middle school for the arts opens Wednesday

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August 1, 2006

Dougherty County -- Classes begin at Dougherty County schools Wednesday, and administrators say new technology will help middle schoolers this year. All six of the Dougherty County middle schools buildings have been renovated or built in the last five years, including the brand new Radium Springs Middle School.  

The new three story school building stands just behind the old Radium Springs Middle, which was built in 1961. Now it is called the Radium Springs Middle Magnet School of the Arts.

Visual Arts teacher Torrence Williams said "we are really fortunate to have this facility where we can introduce the kids to these new functions and aspects of the fine arts."

Torrence Williams is the visual arts teacher at Radium Springs Middle, and says the new school's better equipment will help his student's creativity. Like his two new faster firing kilns. Williams said "The kids will be able to see the samples of their work before they go home, and hopefully build and boost their enthusiasm about doing ceramics."

The visual arts department also has a darkroom, and new computer system. Williams said "they will be able to produce and design their own computer graphics."

As the arts magnet school, Radium Springs Middle has a bigger stage for orchestra, dance, drama, and choir performances. School Facilities Assistant Director Bob Fowler said "Making performances for the teachers, the staff, and for the community."

 Last minute touches are being made on the 112-thousand square foot building, that will hold 780 sixth, seventh, and eighth graders. And administrators say the new building's technology, including LCD Projectors, will help the learning environment. Fowler said "They are able to project cable TV, videos, DVD's, satellite directly off the teacher's computer, power points or web sites."

The landscaping is being finished, and the kitchen is not complete. The food will have to be shipped over from another school for a couple of weeks, but administrators are excited students will be at the new Radium Springs Middle, replacing the 45 year old school building.

School officials are using the old Radium Springs Middle building for storage now, but it will be demolished by winter.

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