City, county schools undergo construction projects
A variety of construction projects are underway in the city and county schools.
RUSSELLVILLE CITY SCHOOLS
The construction project at Russellville High School, originally projected to be complete in December and then adjusted to February, now has an estimated completion date for May.
“Construction of this magnitude always has significant delays,” said RCS Superintendent Dr. Heath Grimes. “I’m sure the supply chain issues have been a factor as well, but I am not aware of any specific materials we haven’t gotten or can’t get. We should have an architect’s representative at a board meeting soon to provide an update, but I will be happy if we can start using the building by the fall.
“This will be an important milestone in RCS history,” added Grimes, “and it will be an exciting day when community members drive by and are able to see a beautiful completed building with landscaping. Our teachers and students will be able to enjoy the comfort and amenities it will afford them, and it will serve to provide them more effective educational opportunities.”
At Russellville Middle School, plans are being made for a covered outdoor classroom. “We are in the preliminary phase of this,” explained RMS Principal Tony Bonds. “We don’t have a drawing yet. We’re thankful to be getting this outdoor pavilion, and we hope it will be used for classes, assemblies and even lunch.”
Bonds said the pavilion will help provide instruction at a high level by equipping teachers with an open space to deliver instruction. “Many of our teachers will be able to use this area to expand on lessons from their classrooms.”
FRANKLIN COUNTY SCHOOLS
“We are excited to have the opportunity to provide much-needed improvements to our facilities throughout the county,” said FCS Assistant Superintendent Dr. Johnny Cleveland. “A number of projects are in the works or near completion. We are awaiting delivery and installation of new windows for TES, PCES, EFJH, VHS, RBES and the old gym at Belgreen High School, among a number of other projects.”
At Tharptown, a new baseball concession stand has passed the pre-roofing inspection.
“We are very excited about this much–needed addition to our baseball and softball facilities,” said THS Principal Bart Moss. “In addition to a concession stand, there will be restrooms and a press box on the top level. It will be much more convenient for our coaches, players and fans.
“We’re right in the middle of the project currently and expect it to be finished before the start of the season in February.”
THS assistant coach Samantha Walker said it’s a development she and the students are eager to see realized.
“We’re so excited about this project, and we’re working hard to change the whole softball program,” she said. “Having this will be such a big step for the softball and baseball programs.”
THS head softball coach Kamri Fleming said she, along with the students and fans, are eagerly awaiting the project’s completion. “We are super excited about it,” said Fleming, “and I know our fans and community are as well.”
At East Franklin Junior High, an office addition is complete and occupied, and plans are underway to build a new gym.
“The new gym will provide our school with a much-needed regulation-size court and additional room for more occupancy during games and events,” said EFJHS Principal Leann Trapp. “We are so excited for what this addition means for our school, community and those who will visit our school for future events.”
At Phil Campbell, work has started on the renovation of the softball dugouts and concession area at PCHS. Construction started on the practice football field at PCHS during the first week of January.
At Belgreen, a new baseball field and concession stand are nearing completion, and a substantial completion certificate has been issued for the field.
“The concession stand is 99 percent complete, and a final inspection should be scheduled in late January,” explained Cleveland. “We have added an additional parking area for BHS’s gym.”
Cleveland said the Career Tech Center and BHS have new entry doors installed, and the old gym will have HVAC installed. The school is currently awaiting delivery of the HVAC units for this project.
“We would like to thank FCS Superintendent Greg Hamilton for heading up such a big project and for all of the work he’s put into the new baseball facility,” said Belgreen High School Principal Megean Berryman. “It’s definitely a top-notch facility, and we’re proud it’s ours.”
BHS Coach Nathan Vincent said the field looks great. “We’re very excited about it, and we’re eager to start playing on it soon. The players can’t wait to start the season on a new field.”
Vina High School is getting new softball lighting, and a substantial completion certificate has been received for the project. “We’re very excited about it,” said Vina Principal Brent Gillespie. “We are also having heating and cooling units installed, as well as windows, but that process may not begin until spring or summer.”
At Red Bay, the new ag shop and greenhouse have passed final inspection, and the new band hall has been roofed and dried in. Interior electrical, plumbing and HVAC personnel are currently working inside, and the exterior brick work should begin in mid-February. A new gym floor has also been installed.
“We are thankful to the Board of Education, Dr. Cleveland and Mr. Hamilton for continuing to upgrade the facilities at Red Bay High School,” said RBHS Principal Paul Humphres. “The band hall is on schedule, and hopefully we will be able to use it by the end of this school year.”