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McKenzie, W.O.P. to get new classrooms

The Butler County School System will use $3.1 million to replace classrooms on the campuses of McKenzie School and W.O. Parmer Elementary School.

“We do not have construction plans in detail at this time, but we have identified the greatest needs as replacing a building on the McKenzie campus currently holding five classrooms and replacing the second grade building at W.O. Parmer in Greenville,” said Butler County School Superintendent Amy Bryan.

The refinancing of a 2007 bond issue generated the funds, which must be used for capital improvements within a three-year period.

Goodwyn, Mills and Cawood will meet with school board representative, along with McKenzie principal Mike Gunter and W.O Parmer principal Jacqueline Thornton, in early February, and present a schematic drawing to the Butler County Board of Education at its Feb. 25 meeting.

Bryan said she won’t know for sure how many classrooms will be created until Goodwyn, Mills and Cawood presents its plan and the potential cost.

“Since both priority buildings are detached from the main school buildings, it would serve students better as far as weather, safety and convenience are concerned, and cost less to add new classrooms onto the main school buildings rather than bring these 1940s era buildings up to code,” Bryan said.

Construction is expected to begin in August and be finished by June of 2017. The classrooms will be put into service in August of 2017.

A decision about what will happen to the old buildings remains to be made.

“We’ll see what Goodwyn, Mills and Cawood recommend, but I suspect the W.O. Parmer building will need to come down. The McKenzie building might be usable as a storage building for a while longer.   When the buildings become unsafe, like the old Georgiana High School building we recently had taken down had, we lose the ability to insure them and are forced to demolish them.”

The BOE’s next meeting will take place Feb. 25 at 6 p.m. at the Central Office Boardroom located at 949 Oglesby Street in Greenville.