Evans Middle School’s building project under way
by Celia Shortt
The renovation project at Evans Middle School, which will provide a new two-story main building for the school, has begun. The original O.P Evans Junior High School building was torn down earlier this week.
In 2013, the Coweta County Board of Education voted to demolish the original building at Evans Middle School and build a two-story modern school building in its place.
“[The main building] served us well for many years, but it is in serious need of repair and renovation,” said Coweta County School Superintendent Dr. Steve Barker. “It is more cost effective for us to tear it down and rebuild on that site.” Initial renovation work began during the 2013 Christmas break, with preliminary site preparation and the installation of underground utilities. Mobile classrooms and a system of covered walkways were installed by the end of the 2013-2014 school year.
The entire project will continue through the 2014-2015 school year and be completed by the summer of 2015.
Even after construction of the new building begins, the part of the older building which houses the school’s cafeteria will remain to serve students through the school year.
Once completed, Evans Middle School will have a modern 70,000-square-foot, two-story campus with a new cafeteria, a media center and expanded instructional space, and 53,000 square feet of the older campus buildings will have been renovated.
The administration at Evans Middle School and the school system has also been working to help acclimate students and parents to the upcoming changes.
To prepare students for the upcoming construction work, Evans moved classes into the mobile classrooms for the last few weeks of school.
Melissa Wimbish, principal of Evans Middle School, and Coweta School System administrators held parent informational meetings throughout May to tell parents of students at Evans and those of upcoming students from Arnco-Sargent, Northside, Elm Street, Western, Ruth Hill and Jefferson Parkway Elementary about the changes coming to Evans.
During the last week of classes, the school also began using new bus pick-up and car traffic patterns, which will be implemented in next year’s construction.
This renovation project also includes some updates to the newer portions of Evans Middle that will also be done during the project.
The majority of the work during the school year will focus on construction of the new central campus, which will provide a new cafeteria, a media center and a net increase in classroom space.
The total contract amount, which includes construction and renovation costs from December of 2013 to the summer of 2015, is $14.5 million, and J & R Construction is handling the project.