Iredell County Commissioners, Iredell-Statesville school board members and members of Our Schools First received a tour of the newly constructed Third Creek Middle School on Friday morning. The school is on track to open in August 2020.
BY KARISSA MILLER
As Iredell-Statesville Schools Superintendent Brady Johnson passed through the last room during a tour of Third Creek Middle School on Friday, a smile broke across his face.
“I want to say thanks to boards of education, county commissioners and OS1,” the superintendent told a small group. “I know that you put your political careers in peril for standing up for this. Thank you for the trust and confidence for making projects like this happen.”
Johnson said that the project was identified by the Iredell County Facilities Task force in 2011. The approximately $24 million middle school is being paid for with funds generated from the bond sale related to the referendum in 2014.
In the past couple of years, I-SS has overseen the completion or beginning of several renovation and revamping projects, including the completion of Cool Spring Elementary, the performance art centers at North Iredell and South Iredell high schools and the new Woodland Heights middle school.
Once Third Creek and Woodland Heights are completed, all of the projects tied to the 2014 bond referendum will be done.
“All on time and under budget,” Johnson added.
Although workers had to deal with a variety of rain challenges, school officials said both schools are on track to open in August.
Johnson thanked I-SS Director of Construction and Facilities Use Rob Jackson, describing him as someone who never misses a deadline.
Jackson has been in constant communication with the contractor New Atlantic Contracting Inc. throughout the project to make sure that the project stays on course.
New Atlantic Contracting leaders Michael Hardman, Chip Bruns, Jeff Rush and Adam Collicutt were introduced to the visitors.
Wearing hard hats and reflective vests, county commissioners, school board members and Our Schools First representatives participated in the tour.
The new school includes 36 classrooms, a media center, a gym and has a layout that will improve security and monitoring.
Jackson said students will appreciate the new baseball and softball ball fields and multipurpose fields for soccer and football.
The tour included stops in a band, art and chorus classroom, as well as six science rooms, an Exceptional Children classroom and resource rooms.
Gray carpet flooring, with splashes of blue and green, were installed in a few classrooms of the new middle school. The walls are blue in some rooms and lavender in others. The school has LED lighting and other cost-saving fixtures.
A majority of the work in the classrooms is nearly complete; however, there is still work to do in the kitchen area and front office.
When Third Creek Elementary was constructed it included a large kitchen to accommodate a future middle school, Jackson said. The new middle school, which sits directly beside the elementary school, are conjoined by a common kitchen area.
The schools will share a cafeteria manager and staff.
The district will also save money with the rezoning of some East Iredell Middle School students, which will take 10 miles off of their commute each day on the bus.
Current Statesville Middle Schools students will attend the new Third Creek Middle School. School officials anticipate around 500 students will attend the school. The school was designed to accommodate future growth and has a capacity of 800 students.