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High schools getting uniforms
BoE eyes another school, more stadium delays
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Students in Liberty County's two high schools will be as buttoned down as younger students next year.
The board of education approved adding uniforms to the high school dress code policies during its April meeting Tuesday.
Effective next academic year, a standard dress for school will be extended through grade 12, authorizing school administrators to determine dress-down days. Elementary and middle schools already had the uniform policy.
The older students' dress code was first written to only allow dress-down days to be after the first nine weeks, giving students the opportunity to adjust to the standards.
Interim Superintendent Harley Grove suggested rewording the code for dress-down days to include picture days and spirit week during high school homecoming celebrations.
In other business Tuesday, the expected influx of soldiers to Fort Stewart had the board looking into considering a site review for a new middle school, to be built on the post, according to Deputy Superintendent Dr. Cheryl Conley.
"We have been working with Fort Stewart to secure a site that would be on Fort Stewart property, but close enough to Hinesville or Liberty County that access by parents and students would not be difficult," Conley said.
Carol Guyett said she believed the board is "behind the eight ball."
"I think we should proceed with this and an elementary school," she said.
The school system currently has three middle schools and eight elementary schools.
The Army has announced plans to move nearly 4,000 new soldiers onto Fort Stewart by 2011 and new military families are projected to enroll 2,300 children into the school system, according to Mary Alexander, assistant superintendent for student services. But neither the students' grade levels nor how zoning would decide which schools they attend have been determined.
"But what age students those are going to be, we do not know. Where those students are going to live, we do not know," Alexander said.
She said it is certain the students would be living off post.
The board was also disappointed to learn that Liberty High graduating seniors would not be able to use the Donnell Woods Stadium for graduation this year. When construction started last year, officials said they expected to be able to have the 2007 graduation on the field.
Architect Craig Buckley updated the board Tuesday on the construction and explained how a few projects delayed completion.  
The fieldhouse needed to be shifted to keep handicap parking spaces. Spacing for the visitor fieldhouse became a discussion point when Buckley reported the facility holding 60 players, which may not accommodate some visiting teams.
"I think it's important not to build something that's going to be inadequate from the get-go," Guyett said.
"I know we all want it to be a good looking building, not just functional, but something that's going to look like a stadium," Board Chairwoman Lily Baker said. "But there's not a lot of room there."
Baker reported limited available space for additions, as she recently toured the stadium. She also asked Buckley how the track would be built with the bleachers already anchored by concrete. Buckley explained that the track will encircle the bleachers. The track was not included in the original contract and will be addressed later.
Dr. Conley explained the field still needs finishing touches, including sprigging, before it can be used.
"Until the field is completed and accepted by the owner, it is not available for our use," Conley said.
The board was assured the field will be completed for use by next football season.
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