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School system moves ahead with Norris replacement plan

A new elementary school to replace Norris Elementary School will be included in the updated five year facilities plan now being hammered out by McDuffie County school officials.

Every five years the school system must produce a facilities plan, and Board of Education members voted April 14 to include a new school to replace Norris in the plan after a consultant with the state Department of Education recommended it at a called work session last month.

Using a standard formula, the state would provide about $2.5 million toward a new school, which would cost between $4 and $7 million, said Bill Loudermilk, a facilities consultant with the Georgia Department of Education.

Although Norris Elementary School has been well maintained, Mr. Loudermilk suggested replacing the school with a new facility that would feature a more efficient layout and conform to modern building codes. The school has problems with outdated windows, long ramps that don't meet standards from the Americans with Disabilities Act, and aging pipe and wiring.

The school could be renovated, but that would be costly; it would not change the inefficient layout, and would still require the building to be brought up to code, Mr. Loudermilk told the board.

"The school does not provide the best environment for the education of our students," said Jim Franklin, assistant superintendent for administrative services at the planning session April 12.

Science and other subjects are difficult to teach in the current Norris school because of inadequate facilities, he said.



Web posted on Thursday, April 21, 2005











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