Changes in Coweta County for 2014-2015 school year
by Celia Shortt
As the 2014-2015 school year begins in Coweta County, both students and teachers will be facing several substantial changes when school starts on Aug. 6.
Two of those changes are at East Coweta High School and Evans Middle School, where students will have some surprises once they return to school, as both facilities are undergoing major renovations.
The ECHS renovation began last summer and will continue through the 2014-2015 school year and conclude the summer of 2015.
“The students and teachers, everybody’s just been incredible,” said ECHS Principal Evan Horton of the project. “No one has missed a beat.”
Last summer and during the school year, the ECHS field house was renovated, and more than 200 parking spaces and 23 classes were added, as well as renovating the east side of the campus.
Another major part of the renovations is a new, larger cafeteria, along with a bigger kitchen.
“We gained a good bit of space” in the cafeteria, said Horton. “The improvements are just amazing.”
Work on ECHS’ cafeteria and kitchen began at the end of last school year. The cafeteria staff worked out of temporary kitchens for the last six weeks of school.
“They did a phenomenal job of serving our kids every day,” added Horton.
With all the changes at ECHS last year, Horton is looking forward to the students being able to enjoy the upgraded facilities.
“I’m excited for everyone to get back to school because they will be able to see the difference,” he said. “Everyone will be touched in some way or form by the improvements.”
“The staff are just cooperative,” he added. “They fell in with this. We challenged each other to make it easy. They made this easy.”
Horton acknowledges that the renovation project would not only have been possible without the teamwork of the staff, but also the teamwork with the whole school system.
“No one missed a beat,” he said. “The facilities people at the county level do such a good job with planning and preparing. They’ve been great to work with.”
This next year, the west side of the campus will be renovated.
For Evans Middle School in Newnan the students and employees returning for the 2014-2015 school year will be dealing with major changes, as a new two-story modern facility is being built on the site of the previous 1974 building.
“[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 before the project began. “It is more cost effective for us to tear it down and rebuild on that site.”
When the school year starts on Aug. 6, Evans Middle School students will return to a different-looking campus, as the 1974 building was torn down right after summer started. For this next school year, staff and students will utilize mobile classrooms and a system of covered walkways.
Both were installed before the end of last school year so students and parents could acclimate to the changes. Parents and students were also able to try out the new traffic patterns which would be implemented once the school year starts.
“We are planning for the upcoming school year to go as smoothly as possible with little or no disruptions,” said Melissa Wimbish, principal of Evans. “We will continue to create and modify transition patterns for arrival and dismissal and also during the school day.”
This summer, renovations were also done to the remaining portions of the facility. Those will be completed in time for school to start.
“Just the thought of having a new building is exciting,” said Melissa Wimbish, principal of Evans Middle School. “I know the staff and students will take pride in the shiny waxed hallways, freshly painted walls, and newly renovated restrooms.”