Work has begun on a new office at Harlem Middle School. The old office is being converted into science classrooms.
Photo by Jim Blaylock
This promises to be an interesting year for Harlem Middle School Principal Geoffrey Schlichter.
The central office has been crammed into the school's media center, while a major construction project to build a new office is underway.
Five new science labs are also being configured out of two existing classrooms. The scheduled date of completion: one day before teachers return to school.
The office is not expected to be completed until October, and in the meantime, the school will be dividing its numbers into two schools - from 860 to 430 students - to form the population and administration for the new Grovetown Middle School, which is currently under construction and is expected to open mid-year.
The Columbia County School Board awarded the Harlem Middle School renovation project to R.W. Allen & Associates of Augusta for $730,000. Also in the project, an existing science lab is being refurbished and the roof is being repaired.
"I'm working out of boxes in the media center," said Schlichter. "The five classrooms are supposed to be done July 29, a day before the teachers come back. The office building, the last I heard, will be done in October, but that's pretty optimistic."
Geoffrey Schl;ichter, the Harlem Middle School principal, looks at the work being done in one of the classrooms to run water to the science labs.
Photo by Jim Blaylock
Phone lines and office equipment will be installed in a classroom to accommodate the principal and assistant principal of Grovetown Middle School until their new school is built.
"Hopefully, they will have the rooms done in time for the teachers to come in," Schlichter said. "Right now, if you were to see the hallways, there's dust all over the place. It's hard to do anything in the wings they are working on now because it's a big mess."
But in the end, the campus, which was built in the 1950s, will have a new office complex attached to the front of the building, which will include a lobby area, two secretary offices, three administrative/counselor offices, a conference room and a vault for records.
"Basically, in the other one, everyone was on top of each other," Schlichter said. "It was just too small. What were originally conference rooms became offices. We've even had counselors in closets."
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