By Thomas Smith Staff Reporter firstname.lastname@example.org
YADKINVILLE -- Yadkin officials plan to break ground on the county's two new middle schools Monday afternoon.
County commissioners along with the board of education will hold separate ceremonies at each site, with the Forbush ground breaking beginning at 4 p.m. near the high school and at 5 p.m. at the Starmount Middle School site on Center Road.
"Obviously we are real excited we have gotten to the ground breaking," Yadkin County Superintendent Jim Benfield said Thursday. "I sense the excitement of our staff. It just gives us an opportunity to give the students a good opportunity. We are just really excited about moving forward and getting new schools."
Site clearing has already begun at the Forbush location and Benfield said work should begin at the Starmount site in upcoming weeks.
Barring any major mishaps, Benfield said the two schools will be completed by the start of the 2009 school year.
"They have assured us they will be open in the Fall of '09," he said. "And we have every reason to believe they will."
Benfield said he hopes construction will be completed sometime in the summer to give teachers, staff and maintenance crews ample time to get the school ready for students.
After a lengthy debate over switching Yadkin County to a middle school system, the day has finally come for them to be officially begun. The schools will keep the names of the respective high schools they will feed, Starmount and Forbush Middle, but the colors and mascots of each have not been decided upon at this time.
At a joint meeting of the county commissioners and board of education Jan. 28, the group discussed possible curriculum changes that would occur with added space and educators at the new middle schools. Higher level math, english and science courses -- such as Algebra I and Biology -- are likely to be offered at the new schools and there was some discussion surrounding possibly beginning foreign language courses at the middle school level.
Benfield said at the meeting that goal may need to wait.
"It is going to be difficult with current staff now," he said of adding foreign language classes. "That would be great, and we are looking at that, but that might be a thing we would have to phase in as we get staffing."
Benfield said Thursday any changes would have to be approved by the board of education before being implemented.
"All of our intent is to make the cirriclum as rich as it can be," Benfield said. "In the conversations I have had with the board it is, 'We want to make this curriculum stronger.'"