PICKENS COUNTY—The summer is slowly coming to an end, which means sadness for students, and panic for local teachers.
Several schools in the area are trying to wrap up construction before the new year and. for some, it is coming down to the wire.
“The paving is coming down to the wire,” said Daniel High School Principal Danny Merck. “The pavement is due to be complete by the first of September, so we don’t have too long to struggle. The auditorium won’t be finished until October, but by the first semester, we think all of the improvements will be in place and the students will be the beneficiaries of this.”
Daniel and Easley high schools are busy moving into new buildings, which is a feeling that Merck says he has never experienced.
“Everybody has been expecting this the entire year, and the teachers have understood how difficult this is going to be,” said Merck. “They’ve worked very well. Only teachers can come on campus, and we’re going to try to shoot for an open house the night before school.”
Easley High Principal Tim Mullis says his school is nearly ready.
“We’re ready for the students,” said Mullis. “The road has been the big holdup for us. It’s just been something that you have to put up with, but to be able to be in a new building and have new facilities where all the athletic facilities are on one site is going to be awesome.”
Although time hasn’t warranted many tours for Merck and his staff at Daniel, he says the teachers have been impressed with the new look so far.
“I’ve taken the department heads through the building and they are amazed at the space,” said Merck. “They really just loved what they saw a few weeks ago, so I know they’re going to love what they see this week.”
Mullis says his teachers are scrambling to get ready for students.
“They’re all excited, but they are overwhelmed with the short amount of time to get their classrooms set up,” said Mullis. “Everybody is just really excited and we’re looking forward to getting the school year started.”
With school starting in a week, Merck says he has gained a new respect for construction workers.
“It’s a busy time of trying to get everything together, and it’s been a miracle that we’ve been able to get everything together,” said Merck. “We’ve really learned to appreciate the contractors, and the people that are working well together.”
Pickens High, which opened in its new facility last year, has also undergone some road construction, but officials say it shouldn’t affect the beginning of school.
“It is ready now,” said Pickens High School Principal Marion Lawson. “It has been completed as of last Friday.”
Merck says the job now is to simply work out the last minute details.
“We’re working through all the details of the new school,” said Merck. “Things are going smooth. We received temporary occupancy last Friday, and teachers came in for the first time on Tuesday.”
As for the new year, principals have high hopes for the days to come.
“It’s going to be great,” said Merck. “When you have a new building, you have the opportunity to set up your management style the way you wish. That’s something we have been working on all summer.”
Mullis says Easley is ready to get started.
“We’re ready to show it off,” he said.