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Home News-Telegram News New middle school nearing occupancy inspection

New middle school nearing occupancy inspection

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The new Sulphur Springs Middle School is expected to be complete and ready for the city to inspect for a certificate of occupancy by the end of the month, Richard Crump with Claycomb Associates Architects told school trustees Monday night.

“We are really, really getting close on the new middle school,” said Sulphur Springs Independent School District Superintendent Patsy Bolton, who attended her final board meeting as superintendent Monday night. “I know we’ve said that in the past, but we expect to be done at the end of the month. They are getting things cleaned up now so the city can do an inspection for a certificate of occupancy.”

The next big project will be at the existing middle school facility on Bell Street, which next year will be Sulphur Springs Elementary, a school for third and fourth grade students.

The school board approved a $100,299.40 bid from Restoration and Building of Sulphur Springs to replace the suspended ceiling, and a $24,890 bid from Ken’s Heating & Air Conditioning of Sulphur Springs to replace HVAC ducting in the facility. Both projects are to be completed this summer to allow for the campus shifts by the time school starts in August.

Essentially, the work will give the facility a facelift, similar to work done in recent years on several campuses, including Sulphur Springs High School — although not as extensive as the high school.

The ceiling replacements will include all classrooms on A wing, which includes rooms 101-114, the cafeteria and kitchen, library, C hallway (middle wing nearest the library), D hallway (sixth grade wing closest to the horseshoe driveway) and rooms 154 and 155, the hallway next to the band hall, and coaches rooms and restrooms across from the gym. Tile and insulation will be replaced in the E wing hallway, which connects the three corridors of the main building.

Return air grills will be installed in rooms 101-114, and ducts will be  replaced in those classrooms as well. Existing grills will be replaced and duct runs added to the library, for a total of 13 supply and return grills. Existing duct work in the kitchen and dining area will be redone, and new supply and return grills will replace existing concentric grills.

Before school begins in the fall, SSISD officials will begin the laborious reorganization task. District Director of Elementary Education Betty Lawson, District Director of Plant Operations Dale Guest and Travis Elementary Principal Kristen Monk have been making plans for the move since last fall.

“I think they’ve almost worn out the plans they’ve been holding them so long,” Bolton noted. “They will begin as soon as the city gives the OK.”

Monk had a large role in the planning, as she will be moving from Travis Elementary to the new Sulphur Springs Elementary to serve as principal of the third and fourth grades. Principal Juan Harrison is slated to make the move from Austin Elementary when it closes to Travis Elementary to take Monk’s place as principal.

Lawson held a “tea” last week for third and fourth grade teachers, giving these instructors across the district an opportunity to get together and become better acquainted with others they will be paired with in teaching teams. Lawson and Monk have been working steadily to develop those teams and pairings. Bolton said feedback from the meeting was very positive.

The plan will include not only moving all of the new furniture that’s been in storage for months into the new middle school, but also moving third and fourth grade classrooms and teachers from the four elementary campuses to Sulphur Springs Elementary, and reassigning and reorganizing first and second grade teachers to Bowie, Lamar and Travis elementary schools.

“It’s going to be a humongous task,” Bolton admitted. “I was hoping to be part of that, but due to the timing, it was just not meant to be.”

Bolton’s tenure at SSISD will officially end in June, but this week she’s vacating the superintendent’s office and turning over most duties to Michael Lamb. The newly hired superintendent began working May 1 in the district, alongside Bolton, to help ease the transition of leadership.

A retirement reception is being held Wednesday, May 16, from 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. in the board room of Sulphur Springs Independent School District Administration Building. Community members and present and past students and staff are invited to stop by and celebrate Bolton’s 43 years of dedicated service to the district.

In lieu of gifts, people are asked to consider making a contribution to the establishment of the Patsy Bolton Education Scholarship. Make checks payable to Sulphur Springs Education Foundation.




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