Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2014

Post, school officials breaks ground at new location

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During the groundbreaking for the new McBride Elementary School, Christy Cabezas said it was time for transformation.

“The new McBride will be a 21st century educational facility,” Cabezas, the superintendent for the Georgia/Alabama School District, said.

The new school will include retractable walls, voice, data and wireless Internet and video accessibility, laptops, tablets, audio enhancements with volume control and whiteboards with integrated projectors, she said Friday during the ceremony.

The school construction is part of the Military Construction program, according to the Department of Defense Education Activity. Since the Military Construction program began in 2010, DoDEA has begun the process of renovating its schools to meet the 21st century design concept. The new McBride school will cost approximately $32 million and be completed by the 2016-2017 school year.

Col. Michail S. Huerter, Fort Benning garrison commander, said Soldiers and their Families deserved the best service and facilities — joining the military impacts the Family.

“That’s why our (Department of Defense) schools are so important,” he said. “The teachers and administrators of the seven schools we have here on Fort Benning understand that our Army children may face different challenges than their civilian counterparts. They know mom or dad may be deployed and that grandparents may be far away. They know their students may have left behind friends they made at previous duty stations.”

Fort Benning teachers and administrators show continuous support and understanding toward military children, he said.

“Truly, they make our schools places where our children can flourish,” Huerter said. “They have high standards and require excellence from our students in everything they do. That shows through time and time again in our test scores and high levels of achievement in extracurricular activities.”

In addition to being a 21st century school, the new building will have higher environmental standards, Cabezas said.

“The design team kept safety, security and environmental stewardship in the forefront of this process,” she said. “The new McBride will be 30 to 40 percent more energy efficient than a school at the same size. We plan to achieve the silver rating from the United States Green Building Council Accreditation for Environmental Stewardship. The school itself becomes a teaching tool for science, technology, engineering and math standards with a focus on energy conservation.”

The instruction at the new school will be able to provide students a world-class education, Cabezas said.

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