Erika Wells @Erika_CCNT_AUG
The Columbia County School District recently recognized everyone who worked hard to ensure North Harlem Elementary School’s new building was ready for this academic year.
The district celebrated with a dedication and ribbon-cutting ceremony at the new location at 360 West Trippe St. on Thursday.
“Harlem is a special community and we pull together when we need to get things done,” Columbia County Schools Superintendent Dr. Sandra Carraway said.
Principal Sonya Bailey was excited to have parents, students, school board members and local leaders see the completed project. After the ceremony, the school offered walkthroughs of the building, which includes 55 classrooms, a standalone gym, a music room, a learning commons and a courtyard, which the students especially enjoy, Bailey said.
“There’s not a more deserving community to have this space,” she said. “It was great to see the kids light up when they saw it. I loved seeing them beaming with pride when they saw their classrooms.”
The school cost over $20 and was paid for by the education special-purpose local-option sales tax (EPLOST) for 2017-2022 and state dollars, according to the district.
This summer, some parents expressed concern about whether the school would be open in time and with the proper accommodations for students but many have since said they are impressed with the outcome.
The school serves over 760 students and about 90 employees.
Bailey thanked her faculty and staff and said she appreciated the support from the community and the students’ parents.
“I probably have the best [parent–teacher organization] ever,” Bailey said. “They have just jumped in and taken care of whatever we needed. We are doing great things and it’s only going to get better”