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Long County BoE holds ground breaking ceremony for new school
MR school dig
School and county officials, from left, Dr. Edwin Pope, Dempsey Golden, Florence Baggs, Linda DeLoach, Emma Strickland, Billy Hall, Dr. Delores Mallard, Vicky Wells, Sandy Jones and Richard Phillips break ground for the school. - photo by Photo by Mike Riddle
LUDOWICI -- The Long County Board of Education ceremonially broke ground for a new school on May 14.
The new building, which is to be operating for the 2010-11 school year, will house two separate schools; an elementary and a middle school. It will be adjacent to Smiley Elementary School.
The ceremony started at 1 p.m. with Superintendent Dr. Edwin Pope welcoming everyone.
The Pledge of Allegiance was led by several third grade students, who will be the first class entering the school when it becomes active.
Opening remarks were given by BoE Chairman Dempsey Golden, who was followed by architect Roy Denny, who gave an update on the project.
After his talk Golden said, "This is a very exciting time, and a very important event. Many of our students are in outdated buildings and that's not fair to them."
The chairman added, "We always want to provide the best for our students, and getting them in this modern facility is just one of the ways we can do just that."
Golden said the two schools are being housed in one building for several reasons.
"Two schools with a common area was used. It reduces cost, the schools are completely separate, separate media centers, separate cafeterias, separate entrances, separate in everything except in the kitchen."
He added, "There is a common area, but the cost of two kitchens was tremendous, and by doing this it saved a substantial amount of money."
State Department of Education facilities consultant Dr. Mickey Schuber also spoke.
Remarks were also made by Walker Middle School, Principal Vicky Wells and Smiley Elementary School, Principal Sandy Jones.
Both principals were positive about the project.
"One of the biggest advantages we will have as a middle school is that the media center will be focused on middles grades," Wells said after she spoke. "Right now we have one that is combined with the high school, and that can hurt our kids.
"Also, right now it is difficult to make a good working schedule for lunches, because we have to accommodate pre-K through high school. With the grades separated, that won't be near as difficult."
Jones said, "For us the advantage is that our number of students will decrease. This year we had to issue a waiver for two grades because we simply had too many students.
We have to have a ratio of 1:21 for teachers to students, with us only having Pre-K through second grade, we will be able to provide an even better education to our students."
The LCHS Chorus sang "My Favorite Things." Others in attendance included BoE attorney Richard Phillips, and LCHS Principal Dr. Delores Mallard.
BoE members on hand were Emma Strickland, Billy Hall, Linda DeLoach and Florence Baggs.

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