Grovetown Middle School has a new leader at the helm, even before the first brick is laid.
The Columbia County Board of Education Tuesday named Oconee Middle School Principal Tom McClendon as the new principal of the school.
McClendon, 38, is no stranger to the Columbia County School System. Before he left for Oconee two years ago, he was assistant principal at Riverside Middle School. In 1994, he came to Columbia County as a language arts teacher at Harlem High
"That's one reason why I'm really excited about where I'm going; there's such a strong sense of community there," he said.
He also taught language arts at Evans High School before moving into administration at Riverside Middle. He holds an education specialist degree from Augusta State University.
A Fayette County native, he and his wife Kay have three children: Jacob, 7, Daniel, 5 and David, 1.
Oconee Middle School has a student population of 775, while Grovetown is expected to open with around 500.
"It will be exciting to open a new school," McClendon said. "It will be a unique circumstance to open a school in such an established community. It will be a chance for my family and I to get back to Columbia County."
Among other duties, the new principal will have the task of hiring new teachers for the facility and appointing a committee to name the new school.
The board Tuesday decided to move forward with building plans.
LPS Construction of Statesboro submitted the low bid of $8.3 million on the school when the bids were opened Jan. 8. The school system budgeted $9.6 million for the project.
The school, which includes 40 classrooms, is expected to take 350 days to construct. Completion date is set for Jan. 2.
Site work, sewer and road improvements are nearly finished at the school site, with the building pad about 80 percent completed, said School Superintendent Tommy Price.
The Columbia County News-Times ©2013. All Rights Reserved.