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Summer not much slower for system
Projects keep crews busy
Repair WEB
Clarence Crenshaw, left, and Dennis Gulisano prepare to install a new heater Thursday at Chestatee Elementary. - photo by Autumn Vetter

If not for the opening of a new school, Walter Fairchild would be enjoying a fairly slow summer.

The Forsyth County Schools’ construction coordinator typically oversees many projects during the season.

Last summer, some campuses had their science lab upgraded and Forsyth Central High added a STEM Academy, among other projects.

But this year, the priority is on smaller efforts, such as kitchen fixes, heating repairs and carpentry upgrades.

“We’ve got 36 buildings we’re dealing with and there are hundreds of work orders a month that come in,” Fairchild said. “Those work orders can be anything from a toilet leaking or a door needs a screw in it.

“They may not be big things, but we get all of them.”

Bill McKnight, director of facilities for the school district, said summer is catch-up time.

“We’ve got guys that go in during the normal school year after hours and do all of our equipment’s periodic maintenance,” he said. “[Now] it’s mostly work orders that we couldn’t get to during the school year.

“Like if we had electrical problems, that was something we couldn’t do while the students were in the room. We’ll go back and do it during the summer so we’re not interrupting their learning process.”

It’s not all repair work, however. McKnight said some schools are making changes to their library or media center. To make the rooms seem more welcoming, “they’re turning them into a lounge type area.”

Shiloh Point and Daves Creek elementary schools, as well as North Forsyth High, are modifying their media centers.

Shiloh Point will get new carpet for its center, while Daves Creek is just re-carpeting a portion.

North is going for stained concrete, which McKnight said “looks very similar to what you see in Lowe’s or Home Depot. It’s not that nice, but it’s pretty close.”

Fairchild said crews will also be moving some portable classrooms to different campuses. In addition, there are finishing touches at Kelly Mill Elementary, which will open in August,

“We’re moving trailers to where the capacity needs are and then we’re getting Kelly Mill’s furniture finished, technology and all of the things you need to fit out a new building with in order to open,” he said.