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Statesboro High construction on schedule
121207 SHS CONSTRUCTION 3
Cinder block awaits installment as the new Statesboro High School facility takes shape. - photo by SCOTT BRYANT/staff
Driving down Lester Road, passers by can see that construction site for the new Statesboro High School is crawling with construction workers, heavy equipment and tons of steel, cinder blocks  and concrete.
    Currently, the steel infrastructure is up for two wings of the building, with the foundation for the administration portion of the building already underway. Preparations are being made to start work on the foundation for the auditorium and gymnasium within the next few weeks. In addition, interior cinder block walls are being installed in one wing while water lines, electrical conduits and air conditioning ducts are being installed in another.
    Charles Wilson, assistant supervisor for business and finance, is overseeing the construction for the Bulloch County Board of Education. Currently, the project is ahead in some areas and a little behind in others, but, on balance, is on schedule.
    "I meet with the architect every two weeks and we are evaluating the schedule on a monthly basis," said Wilson. "The contractor is on schedule, based on the schedule approved and provided by the architect."
    According the official schedule, the classroom, cafeteria and administration portions of the new school are slated to be open by August 2008 - the start of the school year. However, due to the fact the start of construction was delayed by the prolonged planning stage - without pushing back the target delivery date - the overall schedule remains tight.
    "On this job, I feel comfortable [the contractor] is keeping everybody as busy as possible - where they can - in relation to the schedule," said Wilson. "Ultimately, we don’t want to put kids, teachers and the community in the situation where we move into the school prematurely."
    Principal Marty Waters said daily operations are running smoothly despite all the commotion and adjustments.
    "Well, there has been no real disruption other than the parents' drop off - we had to reconfigure that. We're out there every day and it's worked much more efficient than it used to," said Waters. "We've had to put some restrictions on the capacity of the gym, so the major disruptions we've had are things like indoor pep rallys. Nothing major. The parking was the major thing."
    Despite there being 100 - 120 construction workers on site during any given day, Waters said that the noise level hasn't been much of a factor.
    "It is crowded in the hallways during class exchanges and its relatively loud during those exchanges, " said Waters. "Otherwise, we've seen very little disruption, just some minor inconveniences that will be well worth the pay off when we're finished."
     The $38 million-dollar development will eventually house a 1,200 seat auditorium and a 2,000 seat gymnasium. Included with this portion of the overall project is a new track and irrigation system for the football field - with installation currently underway. Rick Gibson, the representative for the architectural firm James W. Buckley and Associates, said the building should be relatively low maintenance in the future.
    "We feel that this design using structural steel is the most cost effective that we can put out to provide an owner with a structure that's going to be around for many many years to come," said Gibson.
    Phil Boyum may be reached at 489-9454.
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