Connections 2017

Goldsboro News Argus - Progress Edition

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35 Ground could be broken by early May for the new $21.8 million Meadow Lane Elemen- tary School. The school should be complet- ed by August 2018 and the start of the school year. It will be built on the existing East Ash Street campus, just east of the old school building, and include a wing to house Edgewood Community Develop- ment School. The site has a distinct advan- tage over a new one — water, sewer and electricity are already available. That means less engineering is needed, which translates into cost sav- ings. Also, the county knows the property can handle a building since one is already there, said Wayne County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Michael Dunsmore. That is a huge cost savings, too, he said. Plans for the initial building are done and will be sub- mitted to N.C. Department of Public Instruction for its approval. Once DPI signs off on the plan, the construction process can start, Dunsmore said. "We are hoping to go out to bid to get a construction company here by the end of February," he said. "We will have that opened up through March and get a construction company assigned and break ground in late April or early May. We would look to move in August of the following year (2018). "The plan would be that we could finish the school year up and move everybody into the new building and tear the old one down over the sum- mer and get the parking lot and the entrance and exits done during that time." But, Mother Nature will have a lot to say in that, he said. "There are a lot of logistics there, but we have been very conservative with that time frame," Dunsmore said. "As you know, they put up two new middle schools (Grantham and Spring Creek) in under a year." The county will continue to use the existing school while the new one is built. The Edgewood addition will be built after the old school is demolished. Students could move in between Christmas 2018 and the New Year's 2019 holiday. One of the safety concerns at the school is the flow of bus and parental vehicle traffic. "As you know now we don't have a lot of space," Dunsmore said. "We had a tragic accident there last year. We will be able to bring people in right there where the red light is where you can go into Greenwood (Middle School). "We will make that an entrance, and we will also make an entrance and exit on the other side so that buses and our parental traffic won't mess with each other. A lot of the secu- rity piece will be in that. We will be able to control traffic flow, bus flow, who's coming in and out." Another concern are the more-than-70 exterior doors at Meadow Lane. That number will be greatly reduced to pro- vide more safety and security, he said. Seymour Johnson Air Force Base is going to do some work on the base gate near the school, Dunsmore said. "We are actually going to have a sheltered walkway coming from the back gate," he said. "So we are going to be doing some different things and working with the base." The new school will be built for 700 students with expansion up to 1,000. The plan is to bring the fifth grade back from Greenwood Middle School, he said. Edgewood currently has between 100 to 120 stu- dents. The new school will have a capacity of 160. "I have counterparts telling me that I should push that up to 200," Dunsmore said. The county is looking for more data in order to make the best decision as it considers growth capacity for Edgewood, he said. That has included meetings with Air Force offi- cials to get surveys out to parents, he said "Parents are going to go where they can get that kind of care and service," Dunsmore said. "It (Edge- wood) is unique. It is a need. That's going to be the shining beacon of Wayne County." Not all classrooms and student areas are currently located in one building at Meadow Lane Elementary. After the proposed renovation all classrooms and student areas will be under one roof, increasing security and allowing for easier access. Looking to the future: the cost Story by STEVE HERRING Photos by SETH COMBS A look at the new Meadow Lane Elementary School project by the numbers.

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