HARRIS COUNTY, GA (WTVM) - Offenders from the Georgia Department of Corrections will be renovating a community center adjacent to an elementary school over the next few months.
The community center is Old Mountain Hill Schoolhouse which sits next to New Mountain Hill Elementary.
The Old Mountain Hill Schoolhouse has no connection to Harris County Schools and is no longer a working school.
There are six special skilled workers who are a part of the construction team for the old schoolhouse. They’re also prison inmates in West Georgia. The renovations will only take place inside the building.
Justin Finney, assistant superintendent of Harris County Schools, said the district vetted the plans and regulations for the work being done and he has no concerns about students’ and staff safety.
“We decided to notify parents as a courtesy to let them know that they were in compliance and that we had taken every safety measure possible,” Finney said.
He also said all members of the work crew will be required to use a specific entrance: one that is farthest away from New Mountain Hill Elementary School.
There will be two correctional officers and a project supervisor monitoring the project at all times. The Harris County school has its own officer as well.
“Parents are always concerned about their safety, as are we, but we are putting things in place everyday for students’ safety,” Finney said.
Parents of children at the school had the following to say:
“The renovation next door is something to better our community. As a parent of a child at New Mountain Hill Elementary, I feel completely safe wth my child attending school during the renovation process,” said a parent.
”I know our administration here at school and our resource officer do a great job with keeping our kids safe everyday, no matter who’s where or doing what,” added another parent.
”No safety concerns. I think that summer would be a good time to do it. However, since it’s been done now, I’m not worried with Deputy Val here and the administration I know is going to keep my kid safe,” a parent commented.
The renovations will take place Monday thorugh Thursday for the next couple months.