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Red Bay preps for construction

Change is happening in the Franklin County Schools system, and this year Red Bay will join the list of schools receiving updated facilities.

There is not a set date yet for when construction is expected to begin, but Franklin County Superintendent Greg Hamilton said a pre-construction meeting is tentatively set for Sept. 30 to determine that start date.

This will begin phase one of a two-part construction plan. Phase one will include adding a new home economics and agriculture shop behind the high school wing and adjacent to the cafeteria.

“The facility update was needed,” Hamilton said. “The building built in the ’50s is not what we need today in 2019 with state-of-the-art technology. It was just time for an upgrade.”

The Franklin County Board of Education contracted out Butler Construction to complete phase one. The project will be on a 270-300 day contract and will add 1,100 square feet to the facility.

Hamilton said the biggest thing the project will add is more space for students and modern facilities. Hamilton said Red Bay is currently at capacity, but he expects the new construction to allow for more students. 

The new project will include the latest technology and renovations on the exterior and interior.

Phase one will include tearing down the current home economics building and agriculture shop to make room for phase two. Hamilton said the project is being done in phases so other areas of the building can be used and students will not have to move to trailers.

Red Bay High School Principal Lance Mitchell said he is excited to add new facilities to accommodate student needs.

“It’s going to be confusing at times to have construction going on while we still have school going, but it’s going to be worth it in the long run for our students to have the new facilities,” Mitchell said.

Mitchell also said he hopes the construction will allow the community to take pride in the school and encourage students to take pride in their community.

Bids will go out for phase two while phase one is still being completed.