• Comment

Staff says majority of work will be complete by Friday

Posted: July 12, 2017 - 1:28am
Back | Next
Crews work outside the front of the new School for Arts Infused Learning building.
Crews work outside the front of the new School for Arts Infused Learning building.

After breaking ground six months ago, construction at the new School for Arts Infused Learning is making progress and staff say the majority of the work will be done by Friday.

"We are right on time," said SAIL Director of Student Services, Dr. Michael Berg. "It was a mad dash, but our construction crew have been great. They've been working seven days a week, 15- to 18-hour days. They're busting it to get it done."

Concrete work and paving was underway at the 18-acre site Monday afternoon.

Berg said the school will receive a temporary certificate of occupancy on Friday to allow crews to begin moving in furniture, computers and other large items. They are expecting to receive their final certificate of occupancy by Monday.

The building is just the first intended for the grand design of the campus.

"This is phase 1, which is going to house K-6 the first year. It will house K-7 very tightly in year 2, but we are hoping in that year, that phase 2 starts to be built, which is roughly a $3 million building, which will house 6, 7 and 8 grades and be our middle school," Berg said.

From there, Berg said the school will need to amend its charter to be able to include a high school, after which a new building will be built to house those students.

Currently, site plans for the middle school have already undergone preliminary drawings, but funding is still up in the air for the anticipated $3 million building project.

"We didn't have any funding for this, but it all fell into place," Berg said of the building standing today. "So we are anticipating the same thing happening in phase 2."

Berg said if all goes according to plan, the sixth graders who begin school the first day at the new charter school could be the first graduating class.

Overseeing the construction are the SAIL administration and staff themselves. SAIL Superintendent Kristy Zgol and Director of Instruction Ann Sturkey, along with Berg, meet daily to ensure that all is going according to plan.

On the construction site, the administrators use a trailer, where they work closely with the site superintendent and all of the subcontractors.

Zgol said they hold board meetings and other informational sessions in the onsite "headquarters" and have had as many as 30 SAIL employees at a time meet there to plan and collaborate for the school year.

And while they work, the school has grown up around them over the past six months.

"It's been amazing," Berg said. "You walk through and just see a shell, then you see steel beams, then you see drywall, then you see paint coloring and then you see the exterior brick and then shelving and cabinetry. We can truly say that there is no other school like this around. It is truly unique to this area."

The school will welcome students from Columbia, Richmond, Burke and McDuffie counties, and even one student from Statesboro, Berg said.

An open house will be held for students and parents August 11 at the new school.

  • Comment