Facilities on campuses around the Polk School District are popping up or being revamped, with two major items that were approved by voters for a Special Purpose, Local Option Sales Tax extension in 2017 getting closer to completion.
The first of those projects that will open first sits at Rockmart High School, and agriculture education students will have a space to accomplish a lot in the coming years. Officials expect an April ceremony to officially open the Animal Sciences building to all after construction on the new facility began in 2018.
“It’s complete, it’s a beautiful facility,” School board member Chris Culver said in a facilities committee report during the latest Polk County Board of Education work session. “I know the football coach is going to be glad to have it available for use on a rainy day.”
Culver added the intention for the new facility at the Rockmart High School campus is to allow for multiple uses of the facility once it opens up this spring.
The covered arena at the Animal Science building’s use for sports practice while staying out of the weather is just one area where school officials hope to get added use out of the investment.
The work on the building wraps up one improvement while another is getting into another phase toward completion across the county at the Cedartown High School campus.
Superintendent Laurie Atkins added that with the final check ready for payment to contractors for the work, the building is completely paid off.
“We developed a very specific budget for our project, and we were able to meet those budgets and take care of this project,” Atkins added.
The Fine Arts facility that brings a new band room, new theater and drama department and art classrooms is well underway, and despite weather delays in the construction schedule is headed toward a hoped-for end of 2019 completion.
“The floor is poured for a portion of the new building, and masonry is starting right away,” Director of Transportation, Facilities, Maintenance and New Construction Jeff Little added.
Culver also discussed the need for some patching and repairs to driveways and parking lots at several schools, plus increased security measures at all the campuses — including those which didn’t previously have barriers to ensure people head to the front office and nowhere else when arriving at a building — was also completed.
It was part of a much larger tour taken on February 13 by school officials and board members on the committee to assess what schools are seeing improvements from projects underway and recently completed, and what classrooms still need attention.
Officials also talked briefly about their work with the International Union of Operating Engineer’s Local 926 Training Facility’s forthcoming construction next door to Cedartown Middle School and what impact it might have. Union officials and those with the schools are working to ensure that property lines are correct and that access to the site doesn’t disturb driveways around the campus next to the Earley Property in Cedartown.
Work in earnest on the site according to Union officials visiting Polk was expected to start in May.
Culver also talked about the renovations completed at the Polk School District’s transportation facility in Fish Creek. He said during the meeting that it was his hopes the office area of the facility would be updated to make the space better for employees. Atkins was able to report the renovations work is done. Additional work to the parking area — especially in the front of the building — will be addressed when the weather dries up.