Old Pepperell Middle building is down

The old Pepperell Middle School is no more according to this photo tweeted by Superintendent Jeff Wilson on Thursday. Plans for the new school are still being developed and construction cannot continue until September.

What once was the Pepperell Middle School building is now nothing more than a pile of gravel on an empty lot on Hughes Dairy Road.

The Floyd County School system completed the demolition phase of the new middle school this week and now will need to wait to receive capital outlay approval before they can begin construction.

The project is still technically in the planning phase with no timeline for completion nor a bid for a construction manager at risk announced as of yet. Superintendent Jeff Wilson told the board during their July meeting that the capital outlay had been submitted to the Georgia Department of Education for approval and they should hear back by the beginning of September.

In the meantime, the system is still exploring value option engineering or different ways they can cut costs. The system is putting exit-only doors and fewer entrances to enhance security, former Director of Facilities David Van Hook said at a previous board meeting. The school will also have its media center and lunchroom closer to the front office since these are the most visited parts of a school, adding an extra layer of security.

The system’s new director of facilities began in July and has been working with school administrators as they begin to wrap up projects like the Armuchee modernization and begin projects like the new five-year facilities plan. The new plan will be ready by March 2020, but in the meantime the system will be evaluating other facility needs, like whether or not to keep Pepperell eighth graders at Pepperell High after the new middle school is completed.

Meanwhile, Pepperell’s sixth- and seventh-graders have been relocated to the former McHenry Primary building where they started school last Thursday.