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February 2020
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From school board: Junior High renovations, Dr. Robert Keller honored for "substantial donations," breakfast challenge

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At last week’s school board meeting, Dr. Robert Keller was recognized for his outstanding school support. The board also discussed upcoming PJHS renovations and a hugely successful breakfast week challenge. 


Bids for Phase I renovations at Pickens Junior High School  came in nearly a half-million dollars lower than the original budgeted price, with work to begin immediately and be completed by the beginning of next school year. 

Voter-approved, SPLOST-funded Phase I renovations include a complete overhaul of the Refuge Road school’s interior, including new floors, ceiling, doors, paint, bathroom and other fixtures, as well as a revamp/reorientation of the front parking area and a concrete pad that will be poured for the new 350-400 seat auditorium to be built in Phase II. 

The school board accepted a maximum bid of $3.999 million for the project at their Thursday, March 14 meeting, $454,000 less than the original budgeted amount. With $802,000 of entitlement money the school will receive from the Department of Education for the project, that leaves $3.197 million that will come from SPLOST funds. 

“I’m very pleased with the way [bids] came in,” Director of Operations Stacy Gilleland said. “We had a lot of bidders. We actually will be able to do some other things [with that money] because of a good bid process and lots of participation.”  

While most of the work will happen over the summer when kids are out of school, some will begin immediately over spring break with Phase I work to be completed by the beginning of the 2019-2020 school year. 

Phase II will include new-construction additions at the campus: an auditorium with a band and chorus room area and a new administration area, as well as kitchen and cafeteria expansion, a new gym canopy, roof repairs and other additions/renovations. 

The campus will also be secured with gates and a wrought iron fence to be constructed between brick columns on the outside of the buildings. The only location visitors will be able to enter the school will be through the new administration area in Phase II when it is completed. 


Read about Dr. Robert Keller receiving the first Dragon Nation Enduring Flame award and the successful breakfast challenge week in this week's print and 

online editions.