WSN to open new doors
School to begin in new facility
Escambia County School Board Superintendent John Knott said plans are being made for students to begin the school year come August in the new W.S. Neal building.
“It is our plan to begin the school year with students in that school,” Knott said. “We’ve already contacted our phone services and our internet services, they have been giving the orders to go ahead and make the change over from the old school to the new school.”
Knott said he has been working with WSN principal Patricia Frazier, Transportation Shop Foreman of East Brewton Larry Lambeth and intends to meet with the East Brewton Police Department and others on finalizing and developing some plans for traffic flow on drop-offs and pickups of students.
“There is going to be some major problems to work around,” Knott said. “The way buses come in and go out, and the way our students are going to be picked up and dropped off are things we are working on.
“We’re trying to plan and have a contingency plan just in case if Plan A doesn’t work we can turn around and already have a couple of other alternatives. That’s going to take the cooperation of everybody to try to work that out.”
The project has already missed four deadlines. Back in December, the school move-in date for the 2016 spring semester was postponed due to the wrong colored bricks being installed in the front of the building.
With the admiration of the school board, Knott said the redone brick work should be finished by the end of the month.
“We are all concerned and very positive about getting in that facility for the opening of school,” said District 5 school board member, Willie J. Grissett. “I’m happy we’re at this point.”
The roof of the school is also still a work in progress. Knott said workers are working to replace pieces of the roof by pulling up problem areas that didn’t meet the standards deemed “sufficient or correct” by the building commission.
“We will not be completely through with the roof before students enter the building.,” Knott said. “But the building commission, architects, and attorneys have all assured me that whenever they do the substantial completion there will be exceptions in there on any areas that are not accepted at that time. Those have to be done before the project is finalized.”
The last of the furniture, such as desks, for the school was delivered earlier in the week.
With the new moving-in deadline rapidly approaching, students, faculty and the county school board hold its breath for the beginning of a new era and the tail end of a long process.
“Our Eagle is up in the courtyard. It looks good,” Knott said.
“It looks like it’s ready to take flight,” school board member Mike Edward said.