Another renovation ahead for College Street facility

Lauren Williams Staff Writer

December 8, 2013

More renovations are in the works for Clinton City Schools’ College Street School facility, according to Clyde Locklear, assistant superintendent for finance and facilities.

During the city school board’s work session Thursday afternoon, Locklear shared that plans are being made to renovate one more classroom at the facility, bringing the total number of classrooms in the main front building to four.

“I would like to get the design, bid, and contract done by April,” said Locklear, adding that if a contractor can be secured by the time the 2013-14 school year ends then the contractor would be able to do the renovation work during the summer while school is out and be finished by the time students and staff return in August.

When school board member Diane Viser inquired about where the new classroom would be located within the main building, Locklear pointed out that the contractor would renovate the old personnel office space that used to be housed there when the facility was used as the city school system’s central services office.

Fellow school board member Carol Worley asked if there were any additional, long-term plans to add even more classrooms to the historic campus, located at 606 College St.

“Right now, it’s just the one,” replied Locklear, noting that the building currently houses six N.C. Pre-K classes with 18 students in each class for a total of 108 students attending school at the facility. “All the slots are full.”

Locklear added that the new classroom would “get them (one fo the classes) into a classroom and off the stage” of the multipurpose room which is located in a second building adjacent to the main building but sitting further back on the property.

E. R. Mason, school board vice chairman, asked if Locklear had thought about how to use the upstairs space of the facility.

Locklear first reminded the school board that “we’re invested in preserving the historical aspects of the building”as the College Street School is registered as a local historical landmark in the Historical Registry, but quickly noted that there are “lots of options” for the second floor, including transforming it into a space for various kinds of training, especially since creating classrooms on the second floor isn’t ideal when the students are 3- and 4-year-olds.

School board member Randy Barefoot questioned how much it would cost to finish renovating the entire building, including the second floor.

“It would cost in excess of $1 million to fully renovate,” said Locklear, adding confirmation that previous renovations, which were budgeted at $336,000, along with the one currently in the works were funded by an anonymous donor.

Previous renovations completed by GLT Project Management Services included creating three new classrooms each with its own bathroom as is required for the Pre-K age group; upgrading the heating and air systems; redoing the ceilings; improving the lighting; and refurbishing the building’s original hardwood floors. Accommodations for handicapped and disabled persons were included in the project as well. The renovation was done to alleviate what was previously called by school officials an overcrowding issue at L.C. Kerr Elementary School.

“I think people who visit the center will see the historical space that maybe they remember from being there as a child, but they will also see how the building is continuing to be used to educate our children,” said Locklear this past spring just prior to the facility’s open house and celebration event in May. “They will get to see that the building is still a viable part of the community.”

Lauren Williams can be reached at 910-592-8137, ext. 117 or via email at