Salem Church Middle still undergoing facelift

For those students soon to attend Salem Church Middle School in September, just remember the renovation currently going on at the school will only last one more year – and will never interfere with your studies, like it or not.

According to Shawn Smith, assistant director of Community Relations for Chesterfield County Public Schools (CCPS), the renovation is scheduled for completion in the fall of 2012. Started in July of 2010, the process, which was a project included in the 2004 bond referendum, includes renovation for new science labs and the current/existing science area, plus new additions to the main office area for “security updates.”

The $8,000,000 funding for the project was included in the FY2010 planning budget, and additional work currently being conducted at Salem Church Middle includes the replacement of the HVAC system, Smith said.

Andy Eagle, the construction specialist who has been working extensively on the Salem Church Middle renovation project, said the motive in the renovation worked is to eliminate the number of trailers currently serving as classrooms for students – the nearly dozen in the rear of the school which sixth-grade students.

Regarding the new security updates currently being implemented in the front of the school, Eagle said that visitors will have to go through two sets of doors before ever getting to the part of the school where students are. With the newly constructed office at the school’s front entrance, visitors won’t even be able to be in the school – where the kids are engaged in studies – without first stopping by the office and checking in.

“You can’t get into the school until you come into the office,” he said, “and it’s a nice little security operation. Now we can see everything before visitors get moving around in the school. This makes it much safer. Before the renovation, once you opened the door, you’d already be in the school.”

Eagle said that much of the office construction is currently “wrapping up,” that a majority of the office should be completed by the time school begins. Also, according to Eagle, the science and shop areas that have also been a target of the renovation process will be nearly completed by early September as well. Some new classrooms with new brand-new ceilings and lights will also be available for use by that time.

As far as having construction workers in the school, Eagle said they will be separated from students in designated areas, and that only minimal noise will be experienced by students and staff in the school. As far as what projects within the renovation will be pursued next, he said they are waiting for the students to start school first and then will make adjustments second.

For more information on the current renovation being done at Salem Church Middle School, at 9700 Salem Church Rd., contact the Community Relations office for CCPS at 748-1433 or contact the school itself at 768-6225.

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