Schools that have newer facilities to look forward to include the College and Career Academy, Bowdon Middle School, Villa Rica High School, Sand Hill Elementary School and Temple High School.
“It’s our belief that after these renovations, ours can match any facilities in the state,” Goldberg said.
Some of the buildings are not equipped for the system’s planned technological advancements, or even for the electrical power needed for the programs the system plans to offer in the coming years.
“We’re reviving the system to 21st-century standards,” Goldberg said.
The most expensive project on the SPLOST list at the time the tax passed was the rebuilding of Sand Hill Elementary School, costing a projected $9 million. Goldberg said the system hopes the major rebuilding of Sand Hill Elementary will change residents’ perceptions of the school.
“That school has always had good test scores, good kids and good teachers,” he said. “But it’s one of those things where parents pull in the parking lot and see how old the school is, so they go somewhere else.”
Goldberg said front appearances are important for all the schools because 15 percent of taxpayers don’t set foot in any school buildings.
“This is the last one that we haven’t done anything to, so we’re glad to finally be getting started,” he said.
The Sand Hill Elementary rebuilding should be complete by August 2013.
Track team members at Bowdon High School will finally have a place to practice and hold track meets as the new state-of-the-art track at Bowdon Middle School is expected to be completed sometime this week.
“The land is too tight at Bowdon High, so we’ve never been able to have a track there,” Goldberg said. “They’ve had to go to different schools because they didn’t have anything.”
Goldberg said the new track and concession stand at Bowdon Middle will “doll up the whole complex.”
Villa Rica High School students will eat lunch in a new cafeteria come Aug. 13 and see a lot of construction on the school’s gymnasium.
Goldberg said he and the board members hoped to see the gym project completed by the start of basketball season, which is generally in early November.
“We’re also developing a whole new athletic complex at Villa Rica with a baseball field, softball field and tennis court,” he said.
A similar plan is coming along for Temple High School, with the building of a new gym on its campus and renovation of its cafeteria as well. The cafeteria will be completed by the start of school, with the gym done hopefully by the start of basketball season.
“At Temple High, we’ve also renovated the old weight room into a new band room,” Goldberg said. “So it’s nice to help build that program.”
The system’s College and Career Academy is also getting a facelift, adding a new area with broadcast media classrooms and health science labs. There will also be an advanced manufacturing lab, Goldberg said, which will house the school’s robotics and engineering classes.
The academy renovation will be finished by the Aug. 13 start date.
All of the projects are being paid for with taxpayers’ SPLOST money, which has been used for similar projects for the past several years.
“This SPLOST, we’re doing things besides building new classrooms, which was what the first SPLOST was all about,” Goldberg said. “We’re starting to actually build programs now.”
The system used the first round of SPLOST funds to get students out of portable classrooms, and Goldberg said the system is happy to be done with that phase of their program.
“Some students at Central Middle and at Ithica Elementary are still in portables, but we are working on ways right now to get them out of those,” he said.
Goldberg said he generally works on planning, funding and architectural concerns in the early stages of the projects, before handing them off to Mike Beers, coordinator of maintenance for the school system.
“I do more of the planning on the top end of things, and Mike is more in the dirt, in the middle of all the projects,” Goldberg said.
Goldberg said the school board is planning a board advance for October to discuss which projects will come next, but one is already set for December.
The system is planning to replace the front facade of Central High School with new administrative offices and classrooms.
“It will give Central High a whole new look,” he said. “Which is exciting because when we did that to Villa Rica High a few years ago, it just made such a difference to the whole campus.”
The preliminary plans have been approved by the state department, Goldberg said, with an expected start date in December.