Efforts to move an entire high school are continuing as the staff and faculty at Newton High School continue to pack and transfer items from their old school building to the new Newton High that will open in August.
Principal Craig Lockhart said Wednesday that so far, the administrative staff, which includes the school’s assistant principals, administrative assistant, secretary and bookkeeper, has officially moved into the new building. Phone and technology services are now up and operating in the new building, and administrators have received keys to most of the facility.
Lockhart said Daniel Movers, the school’s moving company, has moved the majority of the items from the original facility to the new site. However, he said, as a lot of construction work is ongoing, faculty and staff members won’t be allowed to enter the new building until after July 8.
The new school, which sits on 117.7 acres, includes a 500-plus seat auditorium; an open commons area entrance; a gym that can accommodate 2,500 spectators; a practice gym; science labs; and band and chorus classrooms that are connected with rehearsal areas.
It also has an ROTC wing that includes office space, classrooms and a rifle range; engineering labs with a covered exterior workroom; agricultural and art classrooms; and even elevators for students and teachers to get to the different floors of the school.
Due to ongoing construction and maintenance, the new school is not open for tours. However, Lockhart said an open house has been scheduled for 3 p.m. Aug. 25.
Individuals needing to conduct official business, such as obtaining transcript requests, withdrawals, enrollments, etc., should report to the main office of the new building.
Lockhart said the new street address for Newton High School is 1 Ram Way, Covington, GA 30014, and mail should be sent to that address.
However, when using GPS navigation, he said the former address of the new site, 601 Crowell Road North, is recognized. Lockhart said that hopefully the street address will be updated in the near future.
As for the original Newton High site, Lockhart said custodial crews are working tirelessly to make sure all necessary materials are moved and areas are cleaned for future purposes.
“Since we have certain facilities that are still operational at the original site, several camps are still being conducted at the original Newton High before the new school year begins,” Lockhart said.
Outgoing NCSS Superintendent Gary Mathews previously said there is no final decision on the future of the old building.
School system officials have discussed keeping the newer wing of the old NHS to house the new STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) initiative, and said that the auditorium will be used by the Newton County Arts Association. Mathews said other parts of the old NHS facility presumably would be razed.
The Newton County Board of Education voted to accept the low bid of $42.6 million for construction of the replacement for NHS in late 2011.
As part of the current five-year facilities plan, state capital outlay paid for $29.16 million of the school with the additional cost being paid for with bonds.
The site of the new Newton High School was previously an undeveloped neighborhood. The Newton County School System purchased the land for approximately $2.3 million.