With an estimated price tag of $6.5 million, it's an environmentally friendly project. The energy-efficient windows and automated light fixtures are expected to save the school money on energy costs. (WRDW-TV / Aug. 23, 2012)
News 12 This Morning / Thursday, Aug. 23, 2012
AUGUSTA, Ga. -- A Richmond County school is saying goodbye to portable classrooms and expanding its size. New additions at Freedom Park Elementary include a new gym and more classrooms.
It's a project nearly two years in the making and is a project that Principal Pauline Andrews is happy to share with the students.
"They are excited about the fact that now our school is built according to our population -- we have over 700 students here. Now, room isn't an issue," Andrews explained.
With a new regulation-size gym that holds more than 1,000 people and a brand new wing with nine classrooms dedicated to middle schoolers, room isn't a problem anymore.
"Most of the portables have already been removed," Andrews said.
Older students have seen the impressive new building rise from the ground up.
"It was a long process," said Kyong Ku, a student. "I just saw people like working trying to get it finished; I know they worked really hard."
Each classroom can hold up to 35 students. They also have use of a brand new computer lab.
"We are receiving some new technology where it'll be a wireless laptop lab. Students can interact with the smart board in the classroom," Andrews added.
Penina Savelio, an eighth grader, said, "I think it's really nice. I mean, I appreciate the new desks and equipment."
Their new gym is outfitted with newer equipment, lockers and even a concession stand.
"The parents are ecstatic; they came in for our open house and they didn't get a chance to get in the gym, but they did see the new wing. All of the feedback has been positive," Andrews said.
With an estimated price tag of $6.5 million, it's an environmentally friendly project. The energy-efficient windows and automated light fixtures are expected to save the school money on energy costs.
"Students are excited. They appreciate the fact they are in the building and not in the portables," Andrews said.
All that remains are the finishing touches on the gym. Andrews says she'll be ready to open this building up for not only the students, but for the entire Fort Gordon community. The grand opening will take place in about two weeks.
Student population has remained the same at Freedom Park over the years. A lot of students move in and out of this school since it is at Fort Gordon, but the principal says they are ready if the population increases.