Work on Tallahassee's South Side Elementary School is moving full speed ahead. The land has been cleared and construction is about to begin. What does the fall hold for students at Bond and Wesson Elementary next school year?
School leaders will spend the summer mapping out next year’s course as the two schools officially merge into one. For decades a tract of land was home to Bond Elementary, a red brick concrete schoolhouse that educated generations of children. Now, construction crews cover the grounds making way for progress.
Superintendent Bill Montford says, "August of 2006, the new school will open. The cost is $13 million for furniture fixtures, turn key operation."
In the meantime, Bond students were moved to the Wesson campus and housed in portable classrooms until construction is complete.
Come this Friday, students say goodbye to another school year, and goodbye to being called Bond and Wesson students. When students shuffle in this fall, they'll be grouped into one school, no longer separate.
Wesson Elementary School Principal Pam Hightower says, "This summer work begins merging two schools books, media center. This is where rubble meets the road."
The convergence involves juggling teachers, schedules and combining classes, also prolonging portable use.
"We'll need 22 of them to keep students in, and with the class size mandate we need them to do that," said Hightower.
While where the new south side school will sit is clear, the new name remains a mystery. Right now, the new south side school is being called “school k.”
School officials say there are several possibilities for the building. They say there's talk of using it as a senior citizens’ center, or the county and city government taking over the property.