• 66°

Eighth grade wing demolished at CMS

By Cal Bryant

Editor

GATESVILLE – “Now the real work begins.”

Those are the words of Gates County Schools Superintendent Dr. Barry Williams after work crews completed the demolition of the 8th grade wing at Central Middle School. He added that the public – to include alumni of the former Central High School and Central Jr. High School – now has the opportunity to obtain commemorative bricks from the building as well as gym bleacher wood blocks.

The commemorative bricks and bleacher blocks will be available for pick up between the hours of 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 5 and Tuesday Nov. 6 at the Gates County Schools Central Office located at 205 West Main Street in Gatesville (behind Southern Bank). Please see someone at the Central Office to collect the name plate prior to brick/wood pick-up.

The school district respectfully requests each family or individual take only one commemorative brick/wood block to ensure supplies last for all those interested in obtaining a brick/block. Please be mindful some of the bricks will have cement fragments and will need to chipped away for display. No large hauling vehicles or other equipment will be permitted as the bricks/blocks are being given away as memorabilia.

Meanwhile, the CMS rebuild/renovation project is in full swing following the demolition of the 8th grade wing.

The $10.5 million project includes the complete renovation of the existing sixth and seventh grade wings of the facility.

The demolition area will be transformed into a new 41,300 square foot building. That part of the project includes a covered entranceway. A door will be open for students/parents to enter, but will automatically lock when the final bell rings signaling the start of classes.

The new construction includes – for school staff – a reception area, and office space for the principal, assistant principal, finance officer, School Resource Officer, guidance counselor, and school nurse. The main office section also includes staff restrooms, a large conference room, a work room and a storage area.

The education space includes a large Business Computer Technology classroom, computer lab, CTE classroom, and 10 other classrooms for math, science, social studies, language arts, health, and STEM. The plans also call for the construction of a spacious Media Center.

There are two large rooms that will accommodate the school’s band as well as space for art students.

Across from that area of the school is a commons, flanked by student restrooms. That leads into a new gym, one that will have a wooden floor and a seating capacity of 650. The gym area also features new locker rooms.

The exterior design will afford a better and easier accessible driveway, capable of handling 75 vehicles at the time for student drop-off and pick-up purposes. A separate area to the left of the gym will serve as the bus parking lot.

The $10.5 million (a $9.04 million base bid plus several “add-ons” bids totaling $1.41 million) earmarked for the project includes five alternate bids. They are the addition of a weight room (at a cost of $130,423), a revised renovation plan for the 7th grade wing ($834,174), installing a metal roof ($333,529), a gym divider curtain ($18,363), and installing aluminum canopies ($98,220).

The Gates County Board of Commissioners have formally adopted a measure that will allow the local government entity to move forward with borrowing up to $8.2 million for the Central Middle School renovation project.

The remaining funds (up to $2.5 million) were obtained by Dr. Williams from the state Needs-Based Public School Capital Fund.