BMS getting closer to completion

Published 3:30 am Saturday, June 25, 2011

While the campus and halls of the new Brewton Middle School are filled with equipment and materials and workers working on final projects, soon they will be filled with teachers—teachers working diligently to fix their rooms for the upcoming 2011-2012 school year.
As BMS principal Doug Prater toured the school Monday, he said things are starting to take shape.
“We will have two L-shaped wings, one for the fifth and sixth grades at one end and one for the seventh and eighth grades on the other,” Prater said. “They have started to clean up some of the areas and it is beginning to look like a school now.”
Prater said all classrooms in the school are 900 square feet, minus the science labs, which are bigger in size.
“The classrooms are 30×30 in size and they all have cabinets, computer workspaces, teacher desk space, and the building will be wireless so everyone will have the Internet,” Prater said. “Rooms will have, at the teacher’s discretion, Smart board technology. There are other options to the smart technology and some have chosen the other.”
Prater said although it looks like a lot of work left to be done in the building, the construction is still on schedule.
“One part of the building looks complete and has been cleaned and those rooms are locked,” Prater said. “The ceiling inspection was done two or three weeks ago and now the tiles are in so that makes me feel good that they passed inspection. I am excited that is done. Everything above the ceiling is done.”
While touring the school Monday, Prater noted that the science labs are adjacent to all science classrooms and are all equipped with the necessary items. Science classrooms are 1260 square feet compared to 900 for regular rooms and have a sink in the room.
“They are just right next door,” Prater said. “As in the labs and all classrooms, the lights come on and off automatically. In the science lab, the lab has all the amenities including the chemical hood, safety showers and other wash and rinse items. Water facets are on the desktops and the teacher’s desk has gas.”
Inspections have to be passed before teachers can come in and get their rooms ready.
“The rooms have to ‘substantially’ complete,” Prater said. “Once they get to that point, I know work crews will still be here doing some things, but hopefully it will be early July. Around July 11th should be a good time. The construction crews have told Mr. (Lynn) Smith they are getting closer, and we are getting excited.”
With the two different wings on opposite ends, Prater said he could stand in a certain location and see both wings change classes.
“It is like having two different schools,” Prater, who took over at the old BMS as principal in 1998, said. “The foyer is reasonably done minus the lights being put in and the cleaning of course. Visitors can come in the front door, but they can’t to the students without having to detour into the office first. In my office, I will have security cameras so I can see the whole school, hall, classrooms, and entrances.”
With the wings on both ends, students will have the lunchroom and the art room, music hall, and band room in the same area.
“In the lunchroom, ceiling tiles need to go in, but after the tiles go in, all that looks like need to go in are the light and sweep the floors and set up the tables,” Prater said. “We will have booths on the side like Jaliscos. Kids that do good or a class that does good can sit four in a booth at lunch and eat and there will also be an outside eating area. Everyone will have their assigned seats in the middle with special seats on the side.”
Prater noted the band and music rooms will be sound proofed with doors and the hall will have no lockers.
“The first part of the day will be the fifth and sixth grade on this hall with the later day having the older kids,” Prater said. “The band room has lockers for the instruments with upstairs storage. Mr. Manning will have access to the parking lot to back up a trailer to load anything for parades or games or anything and the storage that wants to be up and out of the room can go upstairs. The walls of the halls are solid concrete and reinforced concrete and will be the safest place in town.”
The school will have two gyms, one for competition and one for PE classes.
“The PE gym has no bleachers and has goals that can be played in regulation length and on the sides,” Prater said. “While the school is big, the students classes are all grouped together in their grade’s wing. The only place they have to go is to art, band or choral and then to the lunchroom with their teacher and to the gym for PE. It is not going to be difficult. It might look that way just because it is bigger. Again, I can stand in one location and see both classes change.”
Prater said he was excited for the new school and ready to roll.
“We are kind of sitting in limbo right now at the old middle school,” Prater said. “We didn’t have mop the floors or paint the lockers or any of that that we would normally do in the summertime. Everything is going to come new for us. I started on the scheduling for the new year before Christmas and that is usually a summer job for me to make the new schedules for the teachers and the students, but it is done. I did not know when we were going to move or lose our technology stuff so I went ahead and got all that done. I just hope they get it up here at the new school and give us a little while to test it and get. If not, we will work off the hard copy until they get it.”
Not only is Prater anxious, but also he said the new school will help cut his commute down.
“Instead of three miles, I will have about half a mile now,” Prater said with a laugh. “I think more people will end of riding a bus or should ride a bus. I am sure that will be more economical to parents. We tried to schedule bus routes as convenient as we can. We have to accommodate commuters to, but I think it will work out when they start getting here. It is amazing at the cleanup they can do. All the classrooms that are locked are cleaned. One way or another, we plan to be here the first day of school even if we have to meet in the yard. Na, I think we will move in on time. That is my speculation. I know it is a lot of work to be done, but I am optimistic.”

About Adam Robinson

My name is Adam Robinson and I have been the Sports Editor of the Brewton Standard since September 2007. I cover all the local sports in the Brewton area. I am a 2007 graduate of Troy University with a degree in Print Journalism with a contract in Sports Information. I married Shari Lynn in June of 2007 and we welcomed our first child, Hatlee, in April of 2010.

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