Clover school construction projects under way

Builders, renovators and planners aren’t taking the summer off in the Clover school district.

Facilities workers are finishing several projects ahead of the larger ones – new schools, renovations and athletic upgrades – approved as part of the $67 million bond referendum voters endorsed in March.

Chris Dalton, director of facilities for the district, expects upgrades at the maintenance facility to be complete by August.

Bethel Elementary School is getting new windows this summer and a reconfigured, larger nurse’s station.

A $1.2 million upgrade to the district transportation center, which includes a new driveway, is “essentially complete,” said Kelly Clayton, site manager for Cumming, the district’s construction management firm. A $5 million reconfiguration at Crowders Creek Elementary School was completed last month.

Wrapping up these ongoing projects will help the district as construction begins on a new elementary school, middle school and aquatic center that were part of the bond referendum.

Memorial Stadium also will be renovated with synthetic turf, which will be installed at three district fields, and Clover Middle School will be converted into a ninth-grade academy.

The $2.5 million turf upgrades already are under way.

Workers stripped the grass field for use elsewhere in the district. Drainage isn’t in place yet, but stone is coming.

Additional land clearing was needed at the middle school field that is being replaced, and dirt from the transportation center project is being used in the field transitions.

The school board decided recently to use black rubber infill for the new fields rather than green, saving about $362,400.

The different brand of infill won’t affect the quality of the field surface, warranty or time frame for when it will need replacement, Clayton said.

“It’s basically a cosmetic, aesthetic type of thing,” he said.

A steering committee met earlier this week to start Memorial Stadium renovation plans. Work there will begin after football season.

Progress also can be seen at the site of the new schools. A construction entrance is in place and silt fences up for the $40 million middle school replacement on 120 district-owned acres on S.C. 55 at Barrett Road.

“They have started,” Clayton said. “They have mobilized.”

Work on new projects

State permit agencies also have “everything in hand” for the new $25 million elementary school across from Oakridge Middle School, near Bethel Volunteer Fire Department Station No 1. Timber has been cleared there. Construction comes soon.

“You’ll see that it has changed dramatically,” Clayton said.

Work on longer-range projects isn’t being put off, either.

District employees will begin touring area YMCA facilities on Thursday to get ideas for the new, $14 million aquatics center near Crowders Creek Elementary. The district will partner with the YMCA on that project. Construction should start in February, with completion by spring 2016.

Planning for the $10 million ninth grade academy transition will begin this fall. That building will be used as a school for the coming year, so it won’t be transitioned until after the new middle school opens.