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June 17, 2005

See the New Construction

Time for a construction update... The building is completely a mess right now, but things are starting to look like what they will actually be. I just walked around the building and snapped a few pictures to show you what things look like today. Hold your mouse over a picture for a second. Tah-dah! The name of the picture appears. Click on any picture to open a larger version of it.

Counselors' Area These are pictures of the new counselors', bookkeeper's, and attendance clerk's office space. The old counselors' area was completed redesigned. The construction crews gutted the entire area and are restructuring its shape and function. Counselors' AreaThe entrance to this area is now recessed. I think we will find the new space much more useful.

When you first enter, you walk into a reception area that will be used by our attendance clerk. The new space will also feature a nice, large, new conference room and a careers development lab.

This is a picture of the inside of the new teacher workroom that once was the main commons area. These areas in each pod will have a nice, large conference table. Teachers' WorkroomNow parents and teachers will have a more comfortable space in which to conduct conferences and hold grade-level meetings. The outside walls will be lined with new lockers for students. We are hopeful that we may have almost enough lockers for one locker per child! I was amazed at how quickly this space went up.

New Storage Area Believe it or not, in the picture on the right hand side, you are looking at what once was the lunchroom serving line. This area will now provide each grade level with critically needed storage space for supplies, materials, books, etc. In the past, Mabry has had such severely limited storage space that our PTSA bookstore had to be in the girls' bathroom!

Entrance into New Building In this picture on the left, you can see where carpet once was. This was an 8th grade classroom which has now been relocated to another area in the former commons. In fact, immediately after school was out, I went down to the eighth grade commons. The walls had already been partially removed. I looked over and saw, through the studs, Mrs. Stephens sitting at her desk working away on this little piece of now-removed carpet. This former classroom is now a hallway into the new building. A similar situation exists in the 7th grade as well, where a classroom was relocated to open a hallway into the new building.

8th Grade Science Building Pictured on the right is a view from mid-way down the new 8th grade science annex. In this space are 4 state-of-the-art middle school science labs. The brick wall that you see on the right was once the outside of the building. The brick wall contrasts nicely with the white walls and the new color-coded striping painted in all of the new areas.

New Science Lab On the left is the interior of a new science lab. We just aren't going to know what to do with all of this space. Kidding! Truly these rooms are remarkable when compared to our former science labs. While they are empty they almost feel as large as our old commons areas. (Well, OK, I'm getting a little carried away.) But you are going to be seriously impressed with our new labs. They are spacious and well-equiped. We have such excellent science teachers at Mabry. They have been drooling over these new classrooms for 2 years. Now, this year, they will have access to them!

Outdoor Patio On the right hand side is a picture of a new outdoor sitting area. These tables have been moved around our property several time over the last few years. Now they have a new home where teachers can take classes outdoors to read or work on projects.

The Outdoor Deck The picture on the left shows the area behind the school that we are calling the Mabry Deck. Since we will not have a commons area, we will be holding "Block Parties" out on the Mabry Deck for 8th grade students who deserve recognition for appropriate behavior and hard work. This will be a fun area that will have multi-purpose use.

New Band Room The new performing arts center being built in Atlanta can't be nearly as nice as our new band room. This space is huge! The new band room will be well-suited for our excellent Mabry band program. The walls and ceiling are treated with acoustic tiles. The new space includes storage rooms for instruments, a small-group rehearsal studio, practice rooms, and a new band office.

The Mabry Cafe The Mabry Café and new kitchen are a welcomed new addition to our school. In the past all of our food was prepared in the "old kitchen" and had to be trucked down to the serving lines in each commons. Keeping the food fresh and hot was an enormous challenge. Now, with our new facilities, the food is continuously being prepared immediately behind the serving lines and then served up steaming and fresh.

Covered Play Area Yes, I know it's hard to believe. But this is a picture of our covered play area. The construction crews assure me they will have it all cleaned up in time for school. Right now this space is being used for all of our construction supplies. It's, well, it's just a mess right now...

New Chorus Room This room is probably a little confused. Originally, it was the chorus room at Mabry. But years ago, when our orchestra program began to grow, the chorus room became the orchestra room. In the last several years the chorus room has seemed to wander around the building in search of a home. Well, the original chorus room is now going to be the chorus room once again. As part of the construction, this wall was removed to enlarge the space.

Repaving the Bus Area They have been threatening to do it for months now. Today it finally began. The back bus parking area is being ground up and hauled away. As part of the SPLOST project the back and front entrances to the school will be completely redone. The front entrance to the school will be widened. A new left turn lane exit will be added in an effort to make exiting the parking lot a little bit faster.

New Business Lab This is a picture of what was once the old kitchen. The space was completely gutted. You can see the newly constructed teacher office space, storage, rooms for the different curriculum-related modules. The Business Lab will have a wonderful new space.

Well, as you can see, a great deal of work has being going on at Mabry for the last 2 years, about $8.8 million in SPOLST money. Your tax dollars have been hard at work for our students. The project is now in its final stages and is projected to be ready for the beginning of school. We appreciate everyone's patience with this process. When it is completed, which is now in the near future, our school will have a wonderful facility to help us maximize student achievement.

Posted by Dr. Tyson

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