Varsity Lakes Middle School laptops receive much needed upgrades
WINK News first spoke to you about concerns about the conditions of portable classrooms at Varsity Lakes Middle School in April. Laptops had chipped cinder blocks, brackets were off-center, and window frames were rusted to name a few.
Construction to address these issues began in June and is expected to be completed before the start of the school year on August 10. The improvements were under budget as the construction company did the work and will reimburse the district $ 15,000.
They expect the money and the newly refurbished portable devices to do a lot of good for students and their education.
Photos of portable classrooms in Varsity Lakes shocked Lee County School Board member Gywn Gittens. They also made her sad, which is why she sent them to WINK News in April.
“When I came and took those first pictures I was in tears, and when I came back yesterday. I was in tears again, because as I walked around to see what we can do and how many improvements we can make, ”said Gittens.
Improvements can be seen as clearly as day. The support beams are now realigned, there is new grass and new flowers, new doors and the rust is gone.
Lerin Byrd is the president of GCG Construction which is the company responsible for the facelift of laptops.
“The first time we saw the conditions, we fully understood the concerns and we really wanted teachers and students to feel invited when they come to school every day,” said Byrd.
Their team added new piers, foundations, ramps and new stairs in addition to new drainage systems. The company was also able to tackle some work inside.
“We were able to focus on some exterior and interior renovations to beautify what the kids come to every day, new smart boards, new whiteboards,” Byrd said.
Gittens says the improvements will help show students that the school district cares about them. “We have a lot of students who are in this level one, two levels, and three levels, and trying to bring them up, and it’s not that they can’t learn, it’s that we have to show them how to learn. , and that it’s fun to learn, and that we care about them learning, ”said Gittens.
When the footage was first sent to WINK News, a district spokesperson said the Lee County School District was already on top and had renovations planned.
Gittens believes that in the end the renovations would have happened without the photos, but taking the photos put more emphasis on the problem.
The new manager of Varsity Lakes, after just six weeks on the job, was also instrumental in the renovations.