TIFT CO., GA (WALB) - Tift County High School will welcome freshmen to campus starting next fall.
Right now, the school serves 10th through 12th-grade students, but beginning in the 2018/2019 school year, the campus will expand, gaining 600 more students.
By next fall there will be more than 2,000 students on campus.
Construction workers are piecing together more of the new wing at Tift County High School.
Director of Operations for Tift County Schools Robby Dasher said classrooms in the new wing are set to be complete by April 2018.
"What you see here is actually academic, the classroom wing, it's actually two hallways of classrooms. We're adding onto the front of this campus, along with some administrative areas," said Dasher.
Dasher said this is the biggest project he's worked on, both in size and cost.
To complete the new wing and classrooms in the back for Tift College and Career Academy, it will cost $21.4 million.
Since the building is 20 years old, the State Department of Education is able to pay for funds, along with Tift County's Special Local Option Sales Tax.
"To be honest, this is probably, cost wise, the biggest project I've managed in my career," said Dasher.
Tift County Schools Superintendent Patrick Atwater said that with the school system realignment beginning next school year, students will no longer go to seven schools before graduating high school.
"Without this project, Tift County could not have moved forward with a plan that they have desired to do for over two decades," said Atwater.
Adding freshman to the main TCHS campus trickles down to allowing the current freshman-only campus to become a location for a 6th through 8th-grade middle school.
Atwater said students will only attend three schools now before graduating.
"This is the pinnacle. This one construction job within the Tift County School System is what was required for us to make every other piece of the puzzle fall into place," said Atwater.
The new College and Career Academy will have classrooms for healthcare and science labs.
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