Board approves Jan. 4 as second makeup day

STAFF PHOTO BY CINDY KUBOVIC

Aiken County Public School students will return to classes from winter break a day early to make up for the second of two days they missed because of inclement weather in October.

The Aiken County Board of Education unanimously approved Jan. 4, 2016, as the second makeup day at its regular meeting Tuesday night. That date, a Monday, would have been the last day of winter break. The first day of winter break will be Dec. 21.

The District canceled school Oct. 5 and 6 because of heavy rain and flooding across the County. Students made up the first day Oct. 26.

District Superintendent Dr. Sean Alford said the district wanted to make up the two days “as soon as possible” and did not want to wait until winter begins and predetermined makeup days might be needed for inclement weather then.

“We don’t want to use one of those days not knowing what our winter months will be like,” Alford said. “If we do not have any inclement days in the winter, those predetermined makeup days will be days off.”

The Board also gave final approval to architectural designs and budgets for the new Leavelle McCampbell Middle School to be built in Graniteville and for plans to begin the next phase of construction to rebuild North Augusta High School.

The project budget for Leavelle McCampbell is $29,659,402. Board members, school officials, community residents and students broke ground for the school Tuesday afternoon at its site on Weldon Way off Bettis Academy Road. The school is expected to be finished in summer 2017.

The project budget for phases 2A and 2B of construction at North Augusta High is $52,760,123.

Construction on Phase 2A is expected to begin in March and be complete in July 2017. Construction on Phase 2B should begin in September 2017 and be complete in November 2018.

Both schools will be funded with revenue from the 1 percent sales tax referendum Aiken County voters approved in November 2014.

Leavelle McCampbell Middle will be the first totally new school built with help from tax revenue. When construction is complete at North Augusta High, the school will have been rebuilt on its existing site.

The Board also approved unanimously on first reading amendments to vacation and holiday policy for professional and support staff.

The policy would allow all 12-month employees to earn 10 days of vacation, regardless of service time in the District. In exchange for vacation leave, holiday leave would be adjusted to include the days the District closes for spring break, the day before Thanksgiving and winter break.

A native of Aiken, Larry Wood covers education for the Aiken Standard.