The ground ceremonially was broken Wednesday on a yet-to-be-named school in Columbus.
Known as New Elementary School No. 7 in the Muscogee County School District, the $17.5 million project will produce a 91,000-square-foot building at 1440 Benning Drive. The school is scheduled to open in August 2014 and will replace Cusseta Road and Muscogee elementary schools, which will close and merge into the new school.
Freeman & Associates of Columbus and Balfour Beatty Construction of Atlanta are the project's joint main contractors. Hecht Burdeshaw of Columbus is the architect.
Muscogee County School Board member Athavia "A.J." Senior of District 3 was prepared to recommend Samuel P. Charleston, the deceased educator and first black jury member in a Columbus federal trial, as the name for the new school. But after her recommendation was on the Ledger-Enquirer's front page two weeks ago, phone calls prompted her to pull the agenda item July 15 and delay the vote. Senior said then that she was asked to consider other names and that she welcomes the public's input. She wasn't reached for comment Wednesday.
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Board policy grants the right to propose a name for a new school to the board member representing the district where the school is built. The board still must vote to approve the name.