As Spring Break for students and staff is almost here, I would like to take time to provide you with updates on the many projects underway in our school system. These projects include safety upgrades in school facilities as well as construction at Bartlett Yancey High School.
While the road may seem long, we are progressing with the BYHS construction project. Without the visual signs of construction, it may appear as if we are not moving forward in the process. There is a lot taking place. Over the past month, both the Commissioners and the Board of Education agreed to a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that clearly sets out the expectations of both Boards. Jointly, we have posted a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) for architectural design services with bids due April 19. After an architect is selected, a request will follow for construction bids. In the meantime, completion of required studies and facility drawings will occur. Once this takes place over the upcoming several months, the community will see shovels in the ground!
With construction in progress at BYHS during the 2019-2020 school year, students and staff will be relocated who would have been in the main building. There is great effort underway to map out a relocation plan for everyone. Mobile units will be delivered onsite to be used as temporary classrooms. Several rooms in the Civic Center will be utilized as offices and possibly a classroom. While parts of the Civic Center will be used for BYHS purposes, please know that we will continue to rent the main auditorium in the Civic Center during construction. The Board of Education discussed the service the Civic Center provides to the community and made the decision to continue with rentals of the large auditorium. The other areas (offices, kitchen, small auditorium, etc.) will be used for BYHS during construction.
The safety upgrades at N.L. Dillard Middle School, Stoney Creek Elementary, Oakwood Elementary, South Elementary and North Elementary are also moving forward. Currently, we are awaiting the final approval by NCDPI on the construction plan for each school vestibule. We have requested the $1.4M of lottery funding for these projects. So, at this point, we are waiting on the green light from the state department to move forward. We are hopeful upgrades will begin very soon.
The ADA compliance upgrade (handicap accessible bathrooms) at the Caswell County Schools Administrative Offices is underway. The intent was to begin this project last; however, since this project required less paperwork and did not involve lottery funding, there were less hurdles to overcome, thus, resulting in a quicker start.
Lastly, our students and staff have worked diligently this year. It has been a school year full of unpredictable weather that resulted in many school delays and/or cancellations. Much of the missed time was made up during extended school days. By extending the school days (which ended earlier in April), we were able to preserve Spring Break for students and staff. As a result, the school system will be closed Friday, April 19th through Friday, April 26 for a much needed break!
As I have previously shared, it seems a long wait for the many exciting upgrades in Caswell County Schools; however, we will soon see the progress. It is progress brought forward by the caring communities in Caswell County. Thank you.
Dr. Sandra Carter
Caswell County Schools