School buildings undergo renovations; first day is less than three weeks away




The first day of school in Clay County is less than three weeks away, and students and teachers will notice some changes in their buildings when registration takes place August 3.


“Renovations have been going on at every school,” schools director Donnie Cherry told board members in his report at their monthly meeting last week. 


Cherry asked principals Jerry Collins (Maple Grove), Cherry Ann Denton (Hermitage Springs) and Joann McLerran (Celina K-8) to tell about renovations and updates made to the facilities at their schools. Clay County High principal John Denton was out of town at a meeting, and physical plant overseer Jerry Strong talked about the situation there.


At Maple Grove, ceilings have been lowered, and new window heating and cooling units and blinds installed for “energy savings,” Collins said.


At Hermitage Springs, work will begin soon on installing new central air-conditioning units and a new roof, Cherry Ann Denton said, and will be completed by the start of school.


“Almost everything that has been done (at both those schools) will have a payback on energy savings,” Strong added.


At Celina K-8, new doors and walls have been added to basically end the “open” concept that was popular nationwide when the school was built in the 1970’s, McLerran said.


All three principals complimented systemwide maintenance personnel and school workers for their efforts during the summer. 


At Clay County High School, Strong explained how the new “shop” building was nearing completion, and should be ready for classes when school opens. He also talked about some painting that had taken place in the main building. 


In other parts of his director’s report, Cherry said six new teachers had been hired at Celina K-8, after the system received a “tremendous amount of applications.” He said he felt all the teachers hired would be assets to the system. 


Cherry also announced the retirement of longtime teacher and coach Bob Proffitt at Hermitage Springs, and said a replacement for his teaching position there would be hired in the coming days. 

The first day of school is set for Monday, August 3 as an abbreviated day. Teacher inservice will be held on August 4 (countywide) and 5 (individual schools), with the first full day of school set for Thursday, August 6.

The board also called a special meeting for Thursday, July 23 to approve the 2009-10 school budget, so Cherry could present it to the county commission at its scheduled July 27 planning meeting.