09/24/06 — Next facilities meeting will head south

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Next facilities meeting will head south

By Andrew Bell
Published in News on September 24, 2006 2:06 AM

Members of Wayne County's Board of Education and Board of Commissioners will continue to listen to the public's concerns regarding school facilities during the fourth of six public forums Monday night at Southern Wayne High School.

Parents and concerned citizens involved with Southern Wayne, Brogden Primary, Brogden Middle, Carver Elementary, Grantham Elementary, Mount Olive Middle and Southern Academy are encouraged to attend the 6:30 p.m. community meeting.

Residents will be given the opportunity to discuss the facilities' issues with the Master Facilities Plan team, which includes representatives from the school board and Board of County Commissioners, after the team has presented information from an Evergreen Solutions study completed in May.

The county hired Evergreen Solutions to assess school facilities needs in Wayne. In conjunction with the Evergreen Solutions study, the school completed a five-year facilities plan to address the needs of area schools.

The suggestions from that five-year plan will benefit schools throughout the county. Recommendations from the school board's proposed $90 facilities plan call for a new cafetorium, as well as maintenance at Brogden Primary. The new cafetorium would be about 21,000 square feet. The room would hold the school's gymnasium and cafeteria, and it would have a removable door so students wouldn't be disturbed during lunch, said Sprunt Hill, Wayne County Public Schools assistant superintendent for auxiliary services.

The school's existing cafeteria sits two feet lower than the parking lot. During heavy rainfall, the cafeteria floods, Hill said. A new cafetorium would be large enough to feed children, have gym classes and hold Parent Teacher Association meetings after school, he added.

The facilities plan also recommends a new, 124,000-square-foot, $14.5 million middle school for Grantham. The school would hold a maximum of 900 sixth- through eighth-graders. Hill said an independent middle school will provide a better educational opportunity for students and help eliminate overcrowding at the area's elementary school.

The school board also suggests $2 million in maintenance and renovation costs for Mount Olive Middle School. The school's cafeteria kitchen area, which is not large enough to hold kitchen appliances, would be renovated to create more space, Hill said.

Also, the school's outdated restrooms would be renovated and new lighting would be installed, Hill said.

The next public forum will be held at Rosewood High School on Oct. 2 concerning all schools in the Rosewood area. The final public forum will be at Eastern Wayne High School for Eastern Wayne Elementary, Eastern Wayne Middle, Meadow Lane Elementary, Greenwood Middle and Tommy's Road Elementary parents and residents on Oct. 9.