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SHS ready to open

Construction won't delay Aug. 1 start of school

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    While construction of both the new high school and adjacent roads and parking lots may seem like a mess, parents of Statesboro High School students need not worry. School will open Wednesday and classes will be uninterrupted, school officials say.
    Parents will drop off children in front of the school like always, approaching from Lester Road. The only difference is the circle drive in front of the school is no longer there. Parents will enter from Lester Road, drop off their children, then drive to a "turn around" area and leave the same way they came, exiting back onto Lester Road, said Bulloch County Assistant School Superintendent Charles Wilson.
    Students driving their own cars (who obtained parking permits) will park in the new student parking area behind the school along Fleming Drive, he said.
    They will be able to approach from Carmel Drive or Lester Road and may enter the parking lot from several entrances, Wilson said.
    There will be no assigned parking. "Spaces will be available on a first-come, first-served basis," he said.
    Students riding buses will be dropped off behind the school in a designated area, he said.
    Although parents driving by the school before the first day of class may be concerned at what appears to be a tangle of construction going on, everything that needs to be completed for school to open "will be done by Wednesday morning," Wilson said. "People will see work still  being done, but (construction workers) know what their time line is."
    Principal Marty Waters is excited about school starting, and is not  concerned that  construction of the new school – which is being built "around" the "old" school building – will interfere with class.
    "It's really progressing well," he said. But, "There will be some minor inconveniences."
    Waters expects to have ample parking for students who drive their own vehicles. There are 310 spaces available, " and we may be adding parking spaces later," he said.
    Faculty parking has been relocated to provide more parking for students in a safe area, away from construction, he said.
    Parking permits will be sold today from noon to 7 p.m., to seniors only, he said.  Seniors who have not already secured permits will get first consideration Monday, followed by juniors, when the permits are sold from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., he said.
    After juniors, anyone wanting permits will be placed on a waiting list, he said. Permits cost $30.
    Waters said parents should be assured that while construction will be ongoing throughout the school year as the new school building goes up, students will be kept safe and classes will be held as normal.
    Safety fencing will separate construction areas from areas where students are permitted, and students will be made aware of areas where they are not allowed, he said. Construction crews will also me instructed to make sure students are not allowed in certain areas, and should report any infractions, he said.
    "I feel very confident we have a safe environment," he said. "I think it's going to go smoothly. Other than parking, we don't have any disruption to the old building, so there won't be any major change."
    The new school building is expected to be completed in time for the next school year, Wilson said. The new school will be able to accommodate 2,000 students. Current enrollment is around 1,500, he said.
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