FLORENCE — You may recall the $16 million bond that the Florence Carlton School received to renovate its facilities.
In the months since that bond was approved, construction and design teams have worked around the clock to conceptualize the new ideas.
The multi-million dollar project started with a community meeting three years ago when parents, staff and school board members gathered to discuss the future of education in Florence.
To much surprise, the bond proposed for the renovation passed. Now, nearly a year later, designs for the project have been finalized.
“We are getting everyone under one roof," Superintendent Bud Scully told MTN News.
"The design is to make sure our kids can move from the classroom to the library to the cafeteria to the gym without having to put on their boots, and being secure in doing so," he added.
Security, as Scully noted, is the driving force behind the renovation. Fewer entrances and updated visitor protocol are just a few of the improvements.
"We've changed out all our locks. We now have card key access to all of our classrooms, so our classrooms stay locked all the time. The outside doors are locked all the time," Scully explained.
"We’re gonna end up having vestibules that have secure entry, that type of thing. People are gonna have to present an ID, identify who they are, we do a background check instantaneously with the Raptor System," he added.
Design plans also call for a new dining facility, a multi-purpose space that includes a stage for the school’s performing arts program, and an entirely new K-through-5 building.
As the community waits with anticipation for the project to unfold, Scully emphasized the scope of a project this big. "You have to design, you have to go to bid, then you have to build.”
For now, Scully says all they can do is hurry up and wait.
“It’s all gonna be worth it in the end. It’s all about the kids and the community. And it’s something that’s gonna be there for the next 50 years.”
While minor changes, such as new carpet and locks have been implemented, Scully says crews will begin turning dirt in the spring.
The expected end date for the entire project is August of 2022. Additional information about the project can be found on the school district website.