Originally created 08/24/96

Unfinished rennovations put students in different school



NEW ELLENTON - About one-third of New Ellenton Middle's 291 students won't be at their newly remodeled school when classes start on Monday.

School administrators plan to house about 80 sixth graders and special education students at nearby Greendale Elementary School until renovations and new construction at the 44-year-old facility is completed, Area 5 Superintendent Andy Reaves said Friday.

Seventh and eighth-grade students will report to school as normal, he said.

"We hope to have (the sixth-graders) at the school within no more than a week to 10 days," Mr. Reaves said.

Inspectors from the state Department of Education and state Fire Marshall's Office gave their approval Friday to hold classes in 12 of the school's 19 new or renovated classrooms, New Ellenton principal Beth Purvis said. Some students will also be housed outside in the school's portable classrooms, she said.

The school will begin receiving students at 7:45 a.m. Monday, with classes starting at 8:30. Parents are asked to drop their children off at the main entrance in front of the building. Only buses will be allowed at the rear of the school.

Minor work, including installing a hot water heater, is still left to be completed in the school's kitchen area, Ms. Purvis said. The school will serve bag lunches to students until the kitchen is completed.

Some parts of the school are also without air conditioning, including the band room and library, Mr. Reaves said.

School administrators said Friday they are pleased with the progress of construction and hope to have all work completed at the school within the next few weeks, including landscaping.

"We knew we had a tight schedule," deputy superintendent Bill Gallman said. "It was scheduled to end in mid-August. We're a few days behind, but in the scope of a yearlong project, that's not bad."

The $4 million project included adding an L-shaped building containing seven new classrooms and a new administrative wing to the school. It is now rated to hold up to 400 students.

The new building, which wraps around the existing structure, replaces a row of metal Quonset huts that have served as classrooms for about 40 years since they were installed as temporary facilities for children of Savannah River Site employees.