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Foxbank Elementary will open in August as a school the community can 'celebrate'

Published Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Snowstorms, random wind gusts and torrential downpours are the enemy of any large-scale construction project, and the weather in the Lowcountry this past year hasn’t done the Foxbank Elementary School construction any favors.

But, those close to the project have a message they want everyone to hear - the school will open in August as scheduled.

Foxbank will be ready to accept approximately 750 students with a small amount of work to be completed on later dates. For a project that started several months behind schedule and was then further delayed by inclement weather, it may seem like a miracle that students will walk the halls in just a few months. VIEW PHOTOS

Though the progress is impressive, Berkeley County School District Director of Planning and Construction Gene Sides said it’s less about divine intervention and more about dedication from many hard-working contractors and subcontractors at the site. Work that will happen after the school opens will mostly be cosmetic with a focus on exterior landscaping. It will not interfere with student instruction. 

Workers have transformed what’s normally a 22-month project into an 18-month job. 

Those at the site have been pushing themselves and working around the clock. While everyone has a focus on the August deadline, Sides said there haven’t been corners cut. Foxbank Elementary will be a beautiful, modern school that will provide a safe and comfortable learning environment for Berkeley County students. 

“It’s been a phenomenal job on the contractors’ part,” Sides said. “There are a lot of people questioning it, but we did all of this in 13 months, so just imagine what will happen in two months. …All of our subs (subcontractors) are hitting on all cylinders. It’s just that the weather hit us hard and set us back.” 

For many of those working on the project, there’s an emotional connection. Contractors and subcontractors understand they aren’t just “building.” They are shaping the future with the construction of a sanctuary to guide and mold minds of another generation. That passion, mixed with public misconception published on social media and inclement weather, hasn’t always been good for morale. 

But if you walk the halls of Foxbank today, you will witness dust and dirt-covered workers, in awe of what they’ve created. From a stately, two-level tall media center to creatively-constructed classrooms saturated in natural light, Foxbank Elementary School is worthy of applause. 

While this week many walls still lack paint, ceilings are incomplete and floors need attention, Sides is confident the school will open in August and will be something the "community can celebrate."  

“It’s amazing what can happen in six weeks,” he said.

Brian Troutman
troutmanb@bcsdschools.net