The local school board has approved conceptual plans from James W. Buckley and Associates for a new junior high school. The approval starts the process of beginning stages of building the new school. The architect will meet next with school administrators and teachers to hear their input, then the final plans must be approved by the state.
"I'm ready to move, we need to see construction on that sight so we can be in it on the first day of school in 2007," said Dr. James Franklin, assistant superintendent for McDuffie County Schools.
Greg Smith, architect with Buckley and Associates, said the McDuffie County Junior High School will be 108 square feet larger than the typical middle school. The most important feature of the plans is an octagon-shaped supervision station in the center of the building, allowing a single administrator to see 90 percent of the building without leaving the office.
"As far as the lay-out is concerned, from a middle-school perspective, I think it's the best thing since grits," said Claude Powell, principal of Thomson Middle School.
Also unique in the administrative area is the separated parent-reception and student-reception areas. The school counselor's office is moved from the administrative area to the halls accessible to pupils and teachers.
The school will be used for eighth and ninth grades, with four wings having a capacity for 850 pupils.
Virginia Bradshaw, board member, said she hopes they can keep the size of the school small, for a better learning environment.