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RCHS, Magnet annex ready to open
Biology teacher Alex Alvarez unpacks boxes of books and supplies during the winter break for his move into the new annex. - photo by Photo by Bryan Fazio

Magnet students and Rockdale County High School students will have a newly renovated annex building when they come back to school in January.

Renovations on the old CJ Hicks Elementary School, which moved into its own new building across the street in December 2009, have transformed the former elementary school building into 21st century classrooms and lab space fitted for math and science research and experimentation.

The high school will gain 53,000 more square feet of space, with 13 classrooms and 12 labs. About 375 students will be served by the annex this coming semester, said Chief Operating Officer Phil Budensiek, but the building can serve more. The renovation is estimated to come in under the $4.9 million projected cost, said Budensiek.

"The building is beautiful," said RMSST Director Mary Ann Suddeth. "I can't wait to have everything set up. I wish we could just snap our fingers and have it all just so."

Teachers and faculty have been packing up and moving supplies and equipment for the last few weeks of school and over the winter break.

"It’s a step we’re really excited about, because it’s going to get a lot of the students out of trailers. And it’s going to get those Magnet Research science courses together. They’re going to have state of the art research facilities. But at the same time, we’re going to have better facilities for a lot of students we did not have previously," said Gene Baker, assistant superintendent for School Improvement at RCPS

The new building will also allow teachers and classes that have been housed in all 18 trailers on the RCHS campus to move into a building.

The Rockdale County Magnet School for Science and Technology will be holding an open house of the annex on Jan. 4, 2011, from 4 p.m. – 6 p.m. with a parent meeting at 6 p.m.

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