LEXINGTON, S.C. — Lexington School District One board members toured Beechwood Middle School that’s set to open at the beginning of the next school year.
The new middle school is being built right off of Hwy. 378 in Lexington.
Jeff Salters, the Chief Operations Officer for the district, says they’ve been working on the school for the last two years.
“We started in 2017 and we’re looking to open the school in August of this year,” said Salters.
Part of the $40 million budget added security features like automatically closing classroom doors and secured entry glass.
“Locks on all of our classroom doors that remain locked as they're closed,” said Salters. “Our teachers all have a common key so if there was an event of a lockdown and they were in an open area, they could easily get to any classroom to get to a lockdown space.”
There are also security cameras put in place when parents enter the building before going into the office. Parents will talk to the receptionist through the cameras before being allowed inside the school.
The building includes an auditorium, gym, cafeteria, library, dance studio, and everything else you would typically find in a school.
The school will fit 1,200 students to start out with. Officials say the max number of people it will be able to hold will be 1,500.
While the building may be big, the district says it shouldn’t overwhelm students.
“We designed it with a smaller-house concept so that the students feel like they’re in a smaller school. We have individual wings for the great levels. At any given point, there may be only an area with only 300 or 400 students they can move around with,” said Salters.
Outside of the school, there is also a walkway that will connect a nearby neighborhood with the school.
Classrooms will have moveable furniture to make it easier for teachers to change classroom setups.
“It’s really great to see it come together. It’s been a real work in progress. We’ve had a challenging sight with a lot of rain that’s occurred,” explained Salters.
Salters says he believes the school will make a positive impact for every kid who walks through their doors.
“We hope that it gives them energy and excitement about learning. Our mission is to empower each child to design their future and we hope this building gives them the creative space to be able to do that,” said Salters.
Final inspection on the building will be in a few weeks.