“I think [back to school] has gone pretty well,” City Superintendent Howard Hinesley said Thursday. “... [Assistant Superintendent] Ken Clouse went to all of the schools and I can tell you, we’ve been hearing about how good the schools look.”
This year, school improvements include new outdoor lighting at Cartersville Elementary School, a 7,000-square-foot multi-use facility as well as flooring replacements including two gym floors at Cartersville Primary School and significant roofing repairs at the middle school and Cartersville High School.
For the county, the new Cloverleaf Elementary School is the highlight of structural improvements for the start of the year. The approximately 108,000 square-foot facility includes classrooms for more than 800 students as well as a gym, complete kitchen with cafeteria, performance stage and a library with a media center and computer lab.
“[The first day of school] was one of the smoothest we’ve ever had,” Principal Evie Barge said. “The kids who came in as car riders and bus riders in the morning made it through like clockwork, the lunchroom ran smoothly and the students were very well behaved — I think they really appreciate the new building and are kind of in awe.
“The upper grades who were on laptops, the teachers said they could have left the room and the kids could have gone on doing what they were supposed to — they were so enthralled with the computers.”
She said while staff didn’t face any hiccups during the day, the line for car riders was long.
“Usually, the first day more students are car riders and hopefully there will be more bus riders Monday,” Barge said.
The school also houses an art studio and health office and outside amenities include a covered pavilion and playground. The cost of the construction was more than $13 million.
“[The teachers] are all loving [the school], it’s so beautiful,” Barge said. “We’re in the same proximity, there’s no trailers ... it rained and nobody had to walk through it, everybody is just real thankful for this facility.”
While South Central Middle School band members this fall will practice in a new band room, Bartow County Director of Maintenance Pankaj Daiya reports there are improvements at all schools this year. For example, hallways and restrooms at all schools are painted on a two-year rotation, waxing and floor care is done at each school — approximately 1.3 million square-feet of floor surface — and there also have been carpet replacements as needed in the individual schools.