Students could move into the new Ridge Spring-Monetta High School next week.

Dr. Shawn Foster, the chief officer of Operations and Student Services for Aiken County Public Schools, said Tuesday the state's Office of School Facilities will make its final inspection of the school Jan. 22.

“The principals have put together their transition plan, and we'll be transitioning students, hopefully, next week if we get the green light to move forward,” he said. “We'll then announce to the public a date for our dedication ceremony that will come shortly thereafter. It's a beautiful facility. We're excited.”

In December, the school district dedicated the renovated James A. Taylor gymnasium at Aiken High School.

“It's a beautiful facility, and the students are truly enjoying it,” Foster said.

Work continues on the outdoor classroom outside the gymnasium.

“It will be stamped with brick pavers and look like a park,” Foster said.

At Midland Valley High School, the second floor of the new classroom addition has been blocked, and they new gymnasium and cafeteria have been closed in, Foster said.

"That work is moving along extremely fast, and we hope to meet that August-September target date,” Foster said.

Walls are going up on the new fine arts wing, and the gym floor has been poured at North Augusta High School.

“They're moving along extremely well,” Foster said.

The board approved the budgets for two elementary school construction projects.

The district received bids from five vendors for the planned addition and renovation at Millbrook Elementary in Aiken with McKnight Construction Co. submitting the lowest bast bid of $9.4 million.

The full budget, including costs for furnishing, equipment and fixtures, would be $11.9 million and would come from the property tax bond voters approved in May 2018 and Fund Five Facilities Improvement Plan.

H.G. Reynolds received a guaranteed maximum price of $20 million for the new Ridge Spring-Monetta Elementary School. The price is about $300,000 below the construction budget. The total budget needed for the project is $24.3 million.

Board members re-elected Keith Liner and the board's chairman and Dwight Smith as the board's vice chairman.

Liner said the board will discuss the search for a new district superintendent Jan. 25 at a School Board work session.

The board approved two donations.

Oakwood-Windsor Elementary School received a $2,400 donation from John Waugh to fund a field trip for fifth graders to Patriots Point in Charleston. New Ellenton Middle STEAM Magnet School received a $5,962.32 donation from Public Education Partners/Savannah River Nuclear Solutions to buy 14 science lab tables.

​Larry Wood covers education for the Aiken Standard.