Wilcox County New Schools
Though the weather was a bit brisk, the sun was shining brightly yesterday on a large turnout of people, who were present for the long-awaited, official groundbreaking for Wilcox County new schools.
The ceremony was opened with welcoming remarks given by School Board Chairman Berry Collier. The WCHS JROTC presented Colors as the Pledge of Allegiance was recited. Rev. Danny Allen of Pope City Baptist Church delivered the Invocation, and 2017 STAR Student Dani Warren recognized a host of distinguished guests and the crowd.
Wilcox County Schools Superintendent Julie Childers was up next to summarize steps that had taken place to reach this highly anticipated project. “This project represents more than a decade of hard work,” Superintendent Childers exclaimed. She continued to inform the people that when land was purchased in 2007, the school system had plans for a new high school, but historic school funding cuts placed those plans on hold. Childers stated that in 2012, a new law was passed that allowed small rural school districts opportunity to receive special funding through a low-wealth grant targeted for school construction. Wilcox landed the grant and because their current high school is over 50 years old, along with the elementary and middle schools more than 20 years old, the Georgia Department of Education Facilities Team decided to house all schools under one roof. Due to this move, state funding is covering almost 80% of the cost of construction. SRJ Architects from Albany, Georgia, and Parrish Construction Group from Perry, Georgia, will be responsible for the design and construction of the new school, which is projected to see its 1200 students in August of 2018. The building will have 81 classrooms, six computer labs, five CTAE labs, LED lighting, energy efficient HVAC systems, air-conditioned competition gymnasium, as well as state-of-the-art technology, security system, and weight room.
“I know that this new school will continue to serve as an anchor in our community – one that cements the bonds among members of our community. All of us here today – community members, parents, educators, and students – will reap the benefits from a quality education in this new school. We truly look forward to moving in within the next 14 to 16 months,” Childers stated passionately. She continued to share with the attendees that their graduating Class of 2016 had a 100% graduation rate, which was met with loud applause.
Representative Buddy Harden, Senator Tyler Harper, and Senator Greg Kirk were present at the ceremony to help celebrate in the historic event and delivered remarks to onlookers and congratulations to Wilcox County.
Excitement mounted as Wilcox County Board Members Berry Collier, William Dozier, Denita Childs, Morris Holloway, Eddie McKie, along with Superintendent Childers, Rep. Harden, Sen. Harper, and Sen. Kirk donned hard hats and picked up shovels to break ground together.
March 17, 2017, will always represent a day of hard work for Wilcox County Schools, not luck, and next year when students move in, that hard work will continue.