There is almost a new roof overhead at Thomson High School.
Construction on the new physical education and athletic building is moving ahead on schedule, according to Site Superintendent Don Golden. The roof and concrete block walls are currently under construction and all the utilities are in place.
Both Mr. Golden and McDuffie County Facilities Manager Jim Franklin said that the construction so far seems to be moving toward completion on the original date set for the end of July.
Brian Wilson (left) and Lorenzo Clark work on the roof of the new gym.
Jason B. Smith
"That structure is pretty much coming as we had expected," Dr. Franklin said. "We are in the process of selecting the bricks for the structure in addition to some roofing issues relative to making sure that they can get inside as soon as possible and start to work on the inside."
Completion of the roof is about two weeks away, Mr. Golden said. He also added that a lot of masonry work is currently being done so that the remainder of construction can take place out of the cold.
The building, which includes a gym, locker rooms, class rooms and a weight room, will be used primarily for physical education classes during the school day. It will also be used as a practice facility for athletic teams after school hours. The current gym will still be used for basketball games.
"The thing it's going to do right up front is it's going to put us in a facility that will be big enough to handle what we've been wanting to do all along," said THS Principal Bill Reese.
According to Mr. Reese the new building will have five P.E. stations that will alleviate the congestion in the current gym which has only three. He also said the size of the dressing rooms will increase, helping the P.E. classes as well as the athletic teams.
"They shouldn't be on top of each other anymore," he said.
"There's just not adequate space there for all of those teams to operate and to meet and to get things together," Dr. Franklin said of the current gym area. "The new facility will ... get folks into more space."
The new building will also increase security in regards to the entire school. As it is now, anyone using the athletic facility after school hours has access to the whole school.
"We lose control that way," Dr. Franklin said "This facility is obviously out there by itself. ... You're pretty much limited in terms of where you can go."
Also on the agenda for the new building is the equivalent of a Thomson High athletics hall of fame.
"We're also looking at some places to recognize our athletes and teams of the past," Dr. Franklin said. "We're looking at maybe calling it a wall of honor."