By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
New school for a new year
CJ Hicks tour IMG 2062
Painter Carols Dixon finishes up the mural in the hallway of the new C.J. Hicks Elementary school — his third mural for RCPS. Eventually, the "success" wall will display excellent test scores and papers from each grade. - photo by Michelle Kim

Just in time for their 40th anniversary, C.J. Hicks Elementary School will be ushering in the new year with a brand new school building.

"We’re excited," said Principal Sherrod Willaford, describing how teachers are already moving into their classrooms.

"We’re bringing some changes as well as some traditions from the old school to this building," said Sherrod, "so our students have some familiarity with where they are."

The new school, located right across the street from the old school, will not only feature much more space — currently, 19 trailers house overflow students in the old school, while the new building has plenty of room for all students and then some with 62 instructional rooms — but will also have state-of-the-art technology in the communications systems, security systems, three computer labs and active boards in every classroom. The new school will also have "Ready Rooms" for pre-k students with disabilities, three times more bathrooms and a family resource room. The hallways will be named after each of the school’s character "pillars for success," such as Commitment Crossing.

The new school’s construction costs come under the $15 million in SPLOST II funds allotted for it, said Chief Operations Officer Phil Budensiek. The old school building will be renovated, including three new science laboratories, to the tune of $5 million to house the Rockdale County High School Magnet program. The goal is to move the Magnet program there by January 2011.

The school will hold an official open house celebration on Sunday, Jan. 3, at 3:30 p.m., open to the public.