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VALDOSTA – Lowndes High School construction is on track for completion in February.

“The next couple weeks my team and I will be kicking into high-gear with last touch ups,” Jared Hall, JCI Construction project manager, said. “At this time, we are on time and ready for move in on Feb. 16.”

The LHS reconstruction/renovation began July 2019. The $59.6 million project has included the demolition of old sections of the school, new construction and renovations.

In November 2020, LHS along with JCI Contractors held a topping-out ceremony to recognize the installation of the last steel beam in the three-story, state-of-the-art structure. 

The 250,000-square-foot building was originally scheduled for completion in fall 2021 and was supposed to be ready for classes in January but several delays in materials and labor pushed back the completion date.

In other business, the school board consented to amend the return-to-school policy implemented in August.

“The updated plan is just an amended version to quarantine guidelines following Dr. Toomey’s executive order and the governors letter,” Lowndes County Superintendent Wes Taylor said. 

Dr. Kathleen Toomey is commissioner of the Georgia Department of Public Health.

Sandra Wilcher, assistant superintendent of student services, presented the amended isolation guidelines:

– Positive cases quarantine for at least five full days.

– Cases that are symptom free and fever free for 24 hours are able to return with a mask between days six and 10 of quarantine.

“The amended plan directly follows the executive order from Dr. Toomey received on Dec. 29 and Jan. 3 and the governor's statement on Jan. 6,” Wilcher said.

During public participation, parents and middle school softball coaches shared their opinions and asked the board to consider a “one Lowndes team” concept for middle school softball teams.

Brittany Cox, Lowndes Middle softball pitching coach, said, “These young ladies need to understand the importance of earning their positions and work to improve their skills.”

Stewart Thomas, Lowndes High softball coach, presented a plan to the school board for middle school softball teams to be split by grade versus school.

“I believe combining grades will allow students to work with those of their own skill level and build camaraderie amongst the team,” Thomas said. “Also, it would give the coaches a chance to hone in and develop skills of students that can be useful when they get to high school.”

The school board recognized Lowndes High School football team for being named region champions.

The board also recognized Lowndes High School graduate Kevin Hernandez Lemus.

The board voted on board chair and vice chair.

Ronnie Weeks was voted as board chairman and Brian Browning was voted as vice chairman, unanimously by the board.

The next board meeting will be held Monday, Feb. 21, at Lowndes County Board of Education, 1592 Norman Drive.

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