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Education leaders tour new schools ahead of opening

Posted: August 2, 2017 - 3:06am
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Harlem Middle School prinicipal Carl Jackson tours the new Harlem Middle School with administrators. Construction is still incomplete.
Harlem Middle School prinicipal Carl Jackson tours the new Harlem Middle School with administrators. Construction is still incomplete.

Columbia County education leaders toured two new schools opening to students this year.

Harlem Middle School Principal Carl Jackson welcomed board of education members and other administrators for a tour last week, though work was still underway.

Jackson said the classrooms are all very similar, and will include new desks that are portable and easy to use. The classrooms will also consist of taller desks with chairs that will provide options for students to stand up while they're working or sit up higher.

"A lot of kids like to sit up, it's a good place for teachers to perch while they're teaching and then some kids like to stand when they work," Jackson said. "I think that's going to work pretty well, give the kids a treat to sit up high like that."

The hallways are lined with gray lockers and the Harlem Middle School color scheme of red, black and white.

Pockets for water fountains are lined with black, grey and red tiling separating the boys and girls bathrooms.

Exterior stair cases are positioned at the end of the halls, which Jackson said students will not be able to access during the school day.

"We don't let kids travel those unless there's, like, a fire drill," Jackson said. "Those doors will be closed except for emergency."

Each hallway will include a teachers workroom and a computer lab.

The media center is situated on the second floor at the front of the building, with large windows overlooking the parking lot.

"(The media center) is going to have a sign for automatic check in and check out of books, and it will have a computer lab in the back," Jackson explained.

The front of the school has two slate rock columns, similar to Stallings Island Middle School in Evans.

But work is not quite complete at the new school, Jackson said.

Education officials announced they would push back the scheduled building dedication and open house to Friday, instead of Tuesday.

And while work has yet to be done, Assistant Superintendent Penny Jackson said school will begin on schedule as all of the classrooms have been completed.

Jackson said the new facility will accommodate nearly 770 students grades six to eight beginning Aug. 7.

"We are excited and ready to go," Carl Jackson said at the conclusion of the tour.

"We are excited for our kids to have this new building," said Penny Jackson.

The Harlem Middle School building dedication will take place Friday at 4 p.m. in the school's cafeteria, followed by an open house for students and parents to tour the new school.

 

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