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New middle school construction going well

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By John Barnhart

Work on Liberty Middle School is 80 percent complete, according to Eddie Brown, the M. B. Kahn representative overseeing the project. He expects the school to be substantially complete by July 15.

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    The good news, according to Donnie Lake, Kahn’s site supervisor, is that the entire school is “dried in.” This means that interior work can continue regardless of the weather.
    “We won’t lose any time on account of rain,” Lake said.
    Last week, a group of Bedford Middle School teachers took a tour of the new school, led by Lake and Dr. Mac Duis, the school division’s chief operations officer.
    “We are ready to get something new,” said Ernie Sawyer, the school’s assistant principal.  

    The current Bedford Middle School first opened its doors as Bedford High School in the fall of 1928.
    The teachers liked what they saw of the new school. One feature is an outdoor science patio on the second floor of the school’s science section.
    “We can do some experiments where we need open air,” said Robin Adams, a physical science teacher.
    Roberta Franklin, the school librarian, is excited about the new library and had Tyler Robey, a Kahn engineer, show her plans on a tablet computer as they stood in the library’s unfinished space. It’s  much larger than the current school library which Franklin said is cramped.
    Duis pointed out features of the various parts of the building as the teachers walked through, stepping over hoses. The band room has double doors to the outside which will allow large instruments to go in and out without people having to carry them through the school. School office staff are excited that they will have a window. Dr. Duis noted that the school will have very tight entrance and exit security.
    The school will also have interactive monitors. These are big TVs with touch screens. Dr. Duis told the school board, Thursday night, that they have purchased 59 of these, which will mostly be used in classrooms, under a state contract. He said they had two bids for these, but the state contract price was lower than either of the bids. Dr. Duis said one advantage of these monitors is that they do not require proprietary software to run them. Each monitor will take the place of a Smartboard and a projector.
    The school is expected to be ready for teachers and students by August for the 2018-2019 school year.