When the construction dust settles at Bradwell Institute this fall, it will be the first break from construction in years and the last students may see for a while.
“Since I’ve been at Bradwell, it’s been under construction, so it’s going to be nice having that out of the way,” said Principal Scott Carrier, who is going on his third year at the school. “At least on a temporary basis, we won’t have any construction going on.”
The Liberty County Board of Education has yet to move forward with plans for the final phase of renovations, though administrators have indicated in meetings that the board previously earmarked about $8 million for that purpose.
Deputy Superintendent Dr. Cheryl Conley said in mid-July that JE Dunn Construction Company had two construction crews working around the clock to complete the $13.9 million phase 4, stage 2 work designed by BRPH Architects-Engineers.
“For every day that they work, that’s two days of work, and for every week that they work, that’s two weeks of work …,” Conley told the BoE on July 10. “We’re still on schedule.”
Originally slated for completion July 31, the work includes renovations to the 100, 500 and 700 halls, relocation and renovation of the agriculture lab to the 300 hall and renovations and upgrades to the mechanical system and several labs.
The renovation also includes installation of a new chill-water air-conditioning system, which JE Dunn project manager Zack Johns said is the most time-intensive part of the work.
Johns said the project is on track to be completed on time, and Conley said administrators have a contingency plan for the Aug. 2 open house if the 500 and 700 hallways are not complete.
Returning students will notice some changes, but Carrier said students should not be confused by the new appearance.
“The actual setup of the interior of the school will be the same; the hallways will be in the same position they were in before. … From that perspective, kids aren’t going to have any problem,” he said. “The biggest change for the kids is going to be places where teachers have been for the past several years; they’re not going to be there anymore.”
Classrooms mostly have been consolidated by subject areas, which Carrier said will make navigation easier for students down the road.
The 500 hallway that once housed business, culinary and interior design classes now will have science rooms. Science also is moving into the 700 hallway, where graphic arts, health occupations and agriculture used to be.
Because the footprints of some labs were changed, some class doors may be in new places, though they should be near their former locations.
As part of the work, the agriculture program will move across campus from the 300 hallway to the 700 hallway and will fill the space that used to be three classrooms.
Agriculture also has new outdoor facilities, including a greenhouse, shade cloth and animal habitat.
“The agriculture program is a very popular program in our school, and a lot of kids like to take part in it, but our facility was very outdated,” Carrier said. “Most of the CTAE classes got some type of renovation — most of them moving out to the career academy, of course. … This is allowing it to stay just as modern as all of those facilities that have moved.”