Renovations to Williamsburg Independent School, which has forced a portion of the classes to be moved to neighboring Main Street Baptist Church this year, is moving ahead of schedule, and all classrooms may be able to move back into the school by the start of the next school year this fall.
Kevin Cheek, an architect with Sherman Carter Barnhart, told the Williamsburg Independent Board of Education during it’s meeting Monday, that phase three of the project should start soon.
If students can relocate from the final section of classrooms, which still need to be renovated, in April, then all students should be back into the main building when classes start in August, Cheek said.
Principal Tim Melton noted that the move could probably be done in one day.
“It may be worth using an NTI (Non-Traditional Instruction) Day if it comes up on us pretty quickly,” added Superintendent Dr. Amon Couch.
Couch noted this doesn’t mean all the renovations would be done by August.
“There will still be work being done in the fall. Don’t think it will be done in August, but all of our major classroom wings will be finished and completed with kids in them, which will enable us to move the kids back from across the street,” Couch said.
Construction work on the gym will be completed this summer.
Couch said that planning for the 2018-2019 school calendar is still underway and may be adjusted depending on the status of the renovation project.
Currently, the district is looking at starting the 2018-2019 school year in mid to late August.
Board members started the meeting Tuesday with the traditional moment of silence after the pledge of allegiance, and Couch encouraged those in attendance to keep the people from Marshall County in their thoughts, which is where a fatal school shooting took place Tuesday morning.
Also during Tuesday’s meeting, there was discussion about the possibility of state budget cuts affecting local districts.
Couch said that there is talk of shifting the entire burden for student transportation to the school districts.
The state currently provides 60 percent of transportation funding, but is supposed to provide 100 percent of those funds, Couch said.
“There are just a lot of really, really scary questionable things in this budget that really appear to target public education,” Couch added.
Williamsburg has canceled classes Wednesday because the Lady Jackets high school basketball team will be playing in the Girls’ All-A Classic State Basketball Tournament in Richmond.