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Will Fayette school renovations beat the clock?

By: Denny Trease
By: Denny Trease

The start of a new school year in Fayette County is less than two weeks away, but are all the schools ready for students?

5 schools in the district: Cassidy, Arlington, and Russell Cave Elementaries plus Bryan Station and Leestown Middle Schools are all undergoing major renovation.

Things did look a bit chaotic at Cassidy Elementary Thursday with trucks and heavy equipment going every which way, but the Chief Operating Officer for Fayette County schools is convinced that any temporary inconvenience will be worth it in the long run.

Mary Wright tells 27 NEWSFIRST, "There's a lot more visible activity in some schools than others, but we're doing extreme makeovers on all of them so when we get finished, we expect them to be in great shape for the next 30 years or so."

Wright says that in some cases, the only alternative during this phase of construction is to use double wide trailers as classrooms. "For example, at Leestown Middle School, we have a lot of portable classrooms to take care of this first phase, and we'll be moving students in and out of those as the projects progress. And our portables are equipped so that we have computer access and phones and most of the conveniences we have in our regular classroom buildings."

After some last minute construction work in the hallways of the main buildings. students will be brought in from the temporary classrooms to the cafeteria for meals.

If parents are concerned about whether or not the school year really can begin without disruption around the construction sites, Mary Wright says they're not calling the district office with those concerns. "No, we're not receiving that kind of calls. Our contractors use the summer to make sure they're getting the most intensive work done. I know that if people were to come by, they might not imagine that within two weeks, we'll be ready to go, but I promise we will. We've had extensive conversations with all the folks doing the work, and they know what our deadlines are so we'll be ready for the children when school starts on August 12."

And district officials says all five renovation projects currently under way are right on school for completion sometime in 2010.


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