The refurbishing of the new Midway Elementary School, now located in the facility that once housed Midway High School, is said to be close to completion, according to Anthony Vann, executive director of Auxiliary Services for Sampson County Schools.
With just under a month left until school begins, Vann told Board of Education members earlier this week that the school was 95 percent complete inside … and 90 percent complete on the outside as well.
“You remember how the old Midway High looked before,” he said, showing off the new sign recently erected on U.S. 421. “In these few slides that I am going to show you, you will be able to see how much different it is really going to look.”
Just to the right of the lobby is the fifth grade hall, lined with a light blue painting scheme; in another hall the color is orange, dark blue in another.
“The teachers were able to share their input and they all came up with the color schemes,” Vann said while showing the slide of the fifth grade hallway in a Power Point presentation. “If you remember, we had a lot of old radiators that lined the bottom of the hallways. Those are all gone now; we were able to get all of those removed and they are ready for waxing now.”
As he continued through the slides, board member smiled as they watched the old school come back to life, with vibrant colors throughout the school and shiny new classrooms, some just waiting for furniture.
“I am very glad to see the bright colors on the walls and in the classrooms,” said board member Faye Gay, “and I am happy to know that the teachers helped out on that.”
Work on the classroom walls was more time consuming than others, Vann explained. One of the reasons why is that when the school was a high school, instead of taping or fastening marker boards to the wall with screws and anchors, they were glued. Some have been there for decades.
“That meant that our guys had to go in there and physically scrape and grind the glue off of those walls,” Vann explained. “You can see big gobs of glue that had to be taken off before it was painted. It was a lot of labor.”
Vann showcased the new dining area, the old boys locker room — now two large restroom facilities — and new handicap ramps.
The exterior is still being completed, including the roofing. The final portion of the roof, the gym area, is currently being replaced.
“We have most of the roof done, except the gym area,” Vann noted. “The skylights need to be replaced, but the guys are out there working every day and it is coming along nicely.”
The Sampson County Board of Commissioners spent $453,000 to replace most of the roof. Some areas, such as the media center and the auto shop area, had roof replacement within the last decade. The rest of the work is being paid for with approximately $260,000 in Qualified Zone Academy Bond (QZAB) funding, a budget, Vann said,they were watching closely.
“It is very tight,” he said. “We are getting there … we just have to keep an eye on it.”
When asked if the project is on schedule, Vann said he was happy to report that other than some “punch list items,” students should not be disrupted when they return to school.
“We would like to have our grand opening during the Open House on Aug. 23, if that is OK with the board,” he asked.
The board agreed and officially set the celebration for that day at 4 p.m.
To reach Doug Clark call 910-592-8137 ext. 123 or email to firstname.lastname@example.org.