The Long County School System broke ground Tuesday for a new school to serve grades three through eight.
More than 50 people attended the event. Shovels were brought in and dirt was lifted to signify the new building, which will help accommodate the increasing class sizes in Long County.
The school is on 75 acres between Highway 84 and Elim Church Road, just east of the Ludowici city limits.
"We will be out of classroom space by next year at the rate we are growing. Our class sizes have been averaging 290 children per grade," School System Superintendent Dr. Robert Waters said during the groundbreaking. "We are building good facilities that will last for the next 50 or so years."
"There is not a better site for this project. The land is high, and we were able to use dirt from the land instead of bring more in," said Frank "Bo" Dunham, owner of Dunham Enterprises Inc. "This allowed us to save money by using what was already here."
Construction time is set for around 18 months. The site work has taken a few months. Waters said the school should be open by August 2017.
"I think we are looking at about 14 months until the project is completed," he said. "We are very excited."
"We mobilize this project May 23, 2016," said Jeff Pope of Pope Construction, who is in charge of project construction management. "We’ve worked with Long County schools before. We make a good team."
"I am behind this project 100 percent," said Dwight Gordon, the chairman of the Long County Board of Commissioners. "This project will help with traffic and will be using city water. These are two things people have been very concerned about here in Long County. The county will be holding a meeting in a few weeks to cover more details."