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Improvement projects going on at schools

Thanks to the school bonds, improvement projects going on now

If you have driven by one of Gaston County Schools’ campuses over the past several months, you likely noticed construction work going on.

Some of the most visible work has taken place this summer at Ashbrook, East Gaston, and South Point where the front entrance area of each high school has gotten a facelift.  The concrete canopy and sidewalk at Ashbrook and East Gaston have been replaced; they were nearly 50 years old and showing signs of deterioration.  At South Point, the front entrance and offices have been reconfigured to include a secure vestibule to welcome visitors.

What the principals are saying
“We are very proud of the transformation that has taken place,” said Dr. Rebecca Wilson, principal at Ashbrook.  “It was time to replace the sidewalk canopy because of safety concerns.  The new canopy and sidewalk, the new windows, and the large panels on the front of the building have given us an updated, modern look, and we especially love the large green A that is over the front entrance.  The students and staff were amazed to see what improvements had been made.  It certainly contributes to our strong Green Wave pride.”

“The construction work has given us a front entrance that is prominent, welcoming, and secure,” said Gary Ford, principal at South Point.  “Because of the way our front office and lobby are configured, we really had two ways to enter the building, and this often confused visitors.  Now, with the renovations, visitors will know what entrance to use.  When they come into the building, they will be in a secure vestibule area that makes it possible for them to interact with our office staff without having the ability to easily access the adjoining hallways.”

“I encourage everyone who loves East Gaston to drive by our school to see the improvements to our front entrance area,” said principal Jennifer Reep.  “The concrete sidewalk canopy has been replaced as well as the front doors and windows.  The metal siding on the front of the building is being replaced, and the area will have new landscaping.  I cannot wait to see what our school looks like when all of the work is complete.  We really appreciate this investment in East Gaston.”

Other work going on 
In addition to the facade work at Ashbrook, East Gaston, and South Point, other projects are going on.

Roof replacement is in progress at seven schools:  Highland, East Gaston, Page, Brookside, Beam Intermediate, North Gaston, and Mount Holly.  Paving projects have been completed or are near completion at Cherryville High, Mount Holly, Carr, and Bessemer City Central.

The gymnasium at Holbrook Middle School has been painted and a new floor, windows, bleachers, and lockers have been installed.  The tennis courts at North Gaston have been revamped, and work is expected to begin soon on the tennis courts at South Point.

Additional projects completed over the summer include:
▪ Gymnasium lockers at Hunter Huss
▪ Elevator upgrade and drainage work at North Gaston
▪ Fencing/railing at Highland and Chapel Grove
▪ Elevator upgrade at East Gaston
▪ Freezer and dry storage facility at School Nutrition

Upcoming projects
So, which projects are next?  Here’s a look.
▪ Ashbrook High School: improvements and lighting upgrade
▪ Carr Elementary School: life safety improvements (intercom, camera, security, and door upgrades)
▪ East Gaston High School: lighting upgrade and cafeteria update
▪ Forestview High School: drainage work
▪ Hunter Huss High School: parking lot paving and cafeteria update
▪ Mount Holly Middle School: media center update 
▪ New Hope Elementary School: life safety improvements (intercom, camera, security, and door upgrades)
▪ South Point High School: painting, front parking lot paving, and media center update
▪ Southwest Middle School: HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) improvements

How much does all of this cost?
Most of the renovation and repair projects are being paid for by the school bonds that were approved by voters in May 2018.  In the first allocation, the county approved $60 million of the $250 million in school bonds.  Approximately $40 million is for the new Belmont Middle School campus, which is under construction now.  The remaining $20 million is for renovations and repairs.

The current roofing projects cost $3.1 million, and the parking lot paving projects have a $650,000 price tag.  The work at Ashbrook, East Gaston, and South Point totals $2.1 million.  The other projects total about $1 million.  Funds (not part of the school bonds) were approved by the county to renovate the North Gaston tennis courts, and grant funding is being secured to repair the South Point tennis courts.

The superintendent says
“We are extremely pleased with the progress that has been made on critical repairs, renovations, and improvements at more than 25 schools since the school bonds were approved two years ago,” said W. Jeffrey Booker, Ed.D.  “Without question, the school bonds are an important investment in our schools, our community, and our future, and we are very appreciative of the overwhelming support for the bonds.”

Keep up with the progress
Visit the school bonds page on the Gaston County Schools website to keep up with the progress:

Click here for an update on the Belmont Middle School construction.