EVANS COUNTY, Ga. (WTOC) - With a lot of back to school plans in limbo, construction for what will be the new Claxton High School is on track for school leaders and students to transition into next year.
It’s already hard enough to imagine what school will look like next month, let alone next year with COVID-19 still lingering, but school leaders here in Evans County say this new high school has been a long time coming.
“The old one is 50 years old. A lot of great memories there. But from a safety, security and structural standpoint, it simply is not up to date,” Evans County Superintendent Marty Waters said.
Four months ago, there was just a 3D design and essentially just some dirt. Fast forward to today and there's a visible structure with most of the block work complete for what will be the new Claxton high school.
“We were a little concerned of course like other industries, but actually because of the pandemic we had some service industries like the masons and electricians that had other jobs that were postponed or delayed. So, it had more hands on the job here, so we were able to get ahead of schedule,” Waters said.
Waters said four years ago they went through a facilities review plan which is when they knew it was time for a change. He said with a combination of ESPLOST and a little over $6 million from the state capital outlay program, they came in under budget with a final price tag of just over $19 million for the project.
“What you want and what you can afford is the toughest part and working with everybody involved, we’ve done a great job to get exactly what we want and meet our price tag,” Evans County Director of Athletics and Facilities, Mark Stroud said.
Stroud and Waters both say this high school is one of the largest investments taxpayers will make in the county.
"You want the taxpayers to get more than they would in a bigger community, we want our people to stay in Evans County, spend money in Evans County, we also don't want to have to go to other counties to host events."
Making it a win-win for the entire community.
"With our planning phase we also looked at our gymnasium, which will be state of the art, but also the seats will retrack in and we'll able to host plays, community events; which is really big here in Evans County."
The last section to be added is about six classrooms that will go across the front of the building. They will also use the cafeteria from the middle school to accommodate the high schools in order to save money.
As for the current high school, there are no plans as of yet on what will happen to what will eventually be the old building.