School system, students celebrate progress of new elementary school

Published 7:32 pm Wednesday, November 15, 2017

A few months ago, the Troup County School System scheduled a ground breaking for its brand new elementary school on South Davis Road.

Unfortunately, Mother Nature didn’t cooperate that day in August.

Almost three months later, leaders from the Troup County School System and students from Whitesville Road Elementary School placed stakes in the ground Wednesday to celebrate the progress of construction. Whitesville Road Elementary School will be replaced by the new school, which doesn’t yet have an official name.

“We can’t really call this a ground breaking because as you can see, that happened a long time ago,” said Troup County School System Superintendent Cole Pugh. “This is our stake in the ground event. Thank you for joining us as we continue to put stakes in the ground for academic success in the future.”

It’s clear that a lot of progress is being made by Goodwin Mills Cawood, which is overseeing the construction work. Students and teachers stood in front of a large wall — a sign that the work is well under way.

Construction is expected to be complete by August 2018, according to a Troup County School System press release sent out earlier this year.

“We get really excited when we pass by and see all of the progress being made,” said Debra Brock, principal at Whitesville Road Elementary School.

Assistant Superintendent John Radcliffe went over all of the amenities the school will include. One of the favorites was a feature where teachers will be able to use a card instead of a key to gain access into the building.

A public-use room will include a stage and state of the art electronics to be used for community events. There will also be a regulation size gymnasium at the school. The new school sits on a busy highway, so Radcliffe said measures are already being taken to ensure parents can get their students to school safely.

“We are working with the Department on Transportation on turn lanes, deceleration lanes, acceleration lanes and more specifically we are really looking and pushing for a light to be put there between Lukken [Industrial Drive] and the school,” Radcliffe said.

“That isn’t a definite, but we are working hard toward that goal. We have contracted for a traffic study already.”

Although it wasn’t discussed Wednesday, the Troup County Board of Education is expected to vote on a naming policy at Thursday night’s board meeting.

The policy says that citizens and organizations in Troup County must submit name suggestions to the Superintendent of Schools using a “naming of facilities request form.”

The policy also says the suggestions would receive fair and equitable consideration and that the Troup County Board of Education would decide on a final name prior to the opening of a new facility.

No timetable has been discussed on naming the facility.