Completion of construction on the new Eastside High School was delayed by several months due to supply chain issues and labor shortages.

COVINGTON — Newton County School System officials have announced that the new Eastside High School construction project will be completed in March 2022 and ready to start the new school year.

Eastside High School students and staff will begin the 2022-2023 school year in their new building as school system officials announced today that the new construction project is set to be completed in March 2022.

“Although the school was originally set to open in January 2022, delays due to supply chain issues and labor shortages have resulted in a delayed completion date,” said Dr. Michael Barr, Newton County School System’s chief operations officer.

He added that the school system, along with general contractor RA-LIN and Associates Inc., have worked to closely monitor conditions and make necessary adjustments as needed to ensure the project is completed a soon as possible.

The new school is located on 107 acres at the intersection of U.S. Highway 278 and Ga. Highway 142. It will accommodate 1,650 students. The school construction project is funded by a Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax for Education which was approved by Newton County voters in 2018. In December 2019, the Newton County Board of Education approved the construction contract with RA-LIN and Associates Inc. with a total value of $59,479,353.

“We are looking forward to opening the new Eastside High School next school year,” said Samantha Fuhrey, superintendent of Newton County Schools. “Although we had planned to open the school in January, the pandemic and resulting shortages in both labor and supplies made that impossible. The school should be complete this spring to allow ample time to set up classrooms and offices with furniture and supplies in preparation for the first day of the 2022-2023 school year. Unfortunately, this delay will change the timeframe for renovations of the current Eastside High School and the subsequent relocation of the Newton County Theme School to that building.”

Fuhrey added, “This project would not be possible without the support of Newton County residents, who overwhelmingly supported our school system’s special purpose local option sales tax for education (ESPLOST), which removes the financial burden from local property owners and distributes the cost to anyone who purchases goods in our community, including visitors. The funds collected through our one-penny ESPLOST directly contributed to both of these very important construction projects. I know the students who will attend both Eastside High School and the new Theme School in the years to come will be greatly appreciative of the community’s support.”

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I have been editor of the Rockdale Citizen since 1996 and editor of the Newton Citizen since it began publication in 2004. I am also currently executive editor of the Clayton News Daily, Henry Daily Herald and Jackson Progress-Argus.

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