Chatham County breaks ground on two new schools - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Chatham County breaks ground on two new schools


Two Chatham County schools will be moving into brand new buildings next year as the district broke ground on Thursday on projects for both Hess and Isle of Hope K-8s.

The two brand new schools will not only be updated, state of the art facilities, but they will both provide some much needed space.

Portable classrooms will be a thing of the past once the Hess K-8 school gets its brand new two story building right door.

"I think it will be a huge plus because the classrooms are fairly small in this existing building," said parent Margaret Clark.

Hess is busting at the seams with more than 1,000 students, having to use 10 portables to accommodate everyone, but with the new two story classroom wing, everyone will fit.

The facility will have four science classrooms, teacher workrooms, as well as music and art rooms and finally, a place for PE.

"I'm looking forward to having a gym and as my child ages, he will hopefully enter middle school here and I'm hoping that the middle school will be more of a true middle school atmosphere rather than the current elementary school facility," said Clark.

On Thursday the district broke ground on the Hess school, right after they turned dirt for the brand new Isle of Hope K-8.

"Not only is the facility going to be state of the art, but we will actually have technology in each classroom that helps our teachers provide the best instruction for our students," said Isle of Hope principal Kimberly Newman.

The Isle of Hope facility will be located in the same spot as the building, except this one will be much bigger. The two story building will have 40 classrooms, science rooms, a media center, a computer lab and much more, spurring excitement for the students.

"Now kids will actually have space to hang out in the hallways, not hang out hang out, but do study hall and stuff, and I think it will be really nice," said student Isabelle Smith.

Even some of the most senior graduates are excited about the growth.

Ann Doddridge was a first grade student at Isle of Hope more than 80 years ago, in a two classroom building. She said this facility will certainly trump three grades to a classroom, even though it had its benefits.

"But you did learn that way by listening to the other classes' lessons," said Doddridge.

She said while it's hard to see the old facility go, it means opportunity for the youth.

"Well it makes me feel proud to see how far we've come, well and it makes you sad because it's change."

Both schools are expected to be finished by the 2015-2016 school year. School board representatives said this construction would not be possible without ESPLOST funds.

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