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Blandford pre-K classes to move to RES for 2012-13
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To accommodate the growth at Blandford Elementary School, three pre-kindergarten classes will move from BES to Rincon Elementary for the 2012-13 school year.


The Effingham County Board of Education voted unanimously Thursday to free up three classrooms at Blandford, which has grown steadily since it opened in 2006-07. Blandford has the highest enrollment (804 students) among the county’s eight elementary schools and is projected to have roughly as many students next year.


”Although no one is meeting on the stage or in the gym, they are full as far as classroom space utilized,” said schools superintendent Randy Shearouse. “With Blandford growing the way it’s grown, we need a little wiggle room there.”


With a current enrollment of 516, Rincon Elementary can accommodate the additional pre-K students. RES will house a total of five pre-K classes next year.


In conjunction, the school board approved redistricting the new Goshen Crossings apartment complex from Blandford Elemetary’s district to South Effingham Elementary’s.


The 60-unit apartment complex currently under construction sits on the zoning line for the two elementary schools. However, with an enrollment of 610, South Effingham can better handle the addition of any students who will live in Goshen Crossings.


“The great thing about this is we can make this call before anyone moves in,” Shearouse said.


In other business, the school board approved Lavender and Associates’ $361,500 bid to construct the concession stand/dressing room planned at Ebenezer Middle School.


Lavender and Associates’ initial bid of $537,000 was the lowest bid submitted, but still well above the school district’s projected budget for the project of $350,000-$400,000. Shearouse met with the contractor, project manager Frank Neagle and school district facilities manager Slade Helmly to make proposed reductions to the bid.


The savings include electrical, plumbing and heating and air system work that can be done at a lower cost by the school district’s maintenance staff, as well as items the school district can purchase directly rather than through the contractor.


“Forty-four-hundred dollars sounds like a lot of money for an ice maker,” school board vice chairman Troy Alford said of one of the items.


Shearouse said construction will start “soon” on the concession stand/dressing room, which will be an addition to the school’s exploratory wing near the baseball field. Funded by Education Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (ESPLOST) dollars, the project is expected to be completed in time for the start of the 2012-13 school year.