Columbia County begins new school year

Evans Elementary kindergarten pupil Kenna Renew points at her friend Joseph Boese on the first day of school.

Everyone was adjusting to a new school when Columbia Middle School opened its doors Tuesday morning.

Sixth-grader Gavin Carr was an early arrival for his first day of middle school and the change to a school start of 7:30 a.m. brought its own rewards.

“I’m excited about the fact that I’m getting out an hour earlier,” Gavin said of his 2:40 p.m. dismissal time.

Nina Burnette was in sixth grade at the old school on Columbia Road and was excited about her first day at the new school.

“It’s much bigger than last year,” said the 12-year-old Nina, who was happy to be at the new school. “It’s just being in a new place and having a new surrounding.”

All was quiet at 5:30 a.m. when school Principal Steven Cummings arrived to sweep the new $20 million facility on William Few Parkway, but by 7 a.m. it was buzzing with the normal activity of parents dropping their children off and buses unloading.

“Today I’m just looking forward to getting everyone settled, getting everyone a schedule, making sure everyone gets fed and making sure everyone gets home safely,” said Cummings, who called the spacious two-story structure a beautiful building.

Candy Carr was appreciative of her son’s new environment for the next three years.

“I’m very excited for him, I went to the old Columbia Middle,” Carr said. “It’s neat that he’s starting off at the new one. It’s absolutely beautiful. They did a good job.”

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