Glynn Academy’s teachers and students will soon return to campus and discover what the past year of hard work on the school’s Sidney Lanier Building yielded.

The Sidney Lanier Building, originally constructed about 80 years ago, was closed throughout the entirety of the 2018-19 school year to undergo a modernization process. The project, which began in the summer of 2018, is nearly completed.

The historic school building now smells of fresh paint and new flooring, and the site has received numerous other upgrades, including new wall finishings, windows, air conditioning systems, electrical work, plumbing and more.

Work is just beginning, though, on the Science Building, which will be closed through the 2019-20 school year to undergo similar modernization work.

The Science Building work is set to be completed in the summer of 2020.

“We had to get out of the Science Building before (the Sidney Lanier) was ready to move into, so we moved people’s equipment out and stored it in the old cafeteria,” said Al Boudreau, executive director of operations for Glynn County Schools. “And now, the last two weeks we’ve been bringing it over here.”

Boudreau’s office has been busy this summer, with these projects and many others, preparing buildings for students and teachers to return in August and wrapping up projects that have been going on all school year.

Renovated spaces in the Sidney Lanier Building include an art room, classrooms, special education program space, computer labs as well as a temporary media center.

Most of the interior walls were not replaced. The solid, strong interior masonry that the building was originally constructed from did not need to come down, Boudreau said.

“It is now a modern building, with the exception of the walls,” he said.

The Sidney Lanier Building is a former primary school built in the late 1930s and incorporated into Glynn Academy’s campus in the early 1970s.

The building is named for the poet Sidney Lanier, a plaque for whom is displayed on the building’s first floor.

The Science Building was built in 1963.

Glynn Academy’s media center, located in the Science Building, will be housed in the Sidney Lanier building during the 2019-20 school year, as the Science Building is renovated.

Thousands of books have been temporarily relocated, Boudreau said.

“We have 56 pallets of books we had to go store out at the Career Academy,” he said.

The contract workers are putting on some final touches this week to the Sidney Lanier Building and waiting for fire marshal approval, before teachers will begin moving into their classroom space.

Boudreau said he hopes they’ll be able to start moving in on Wednesday or Thursday.

The Sidney Lanier project fell under ESPLOST 2 funding. The Science Building is under ESPLOST 3.

The Sidney Lanier project’s overall budget was $6.11 million, and the Science Building project has a budget of $7.1 million. Both projects are being completed by R.H. Tyson Construction.

The projects are both part of an ongoing modernization process on Glynn Academy’s campus. The historic Prep Building’s modernization was completed in 2018.

Glynn Academy’s campus, the second oldest high school in Georgia, is a medley of historic buildings that have housed generations of Glynn County students.

The modernization process, through which Glynn County Schools can receive state funding to help complete the work, allows the campus to retain its history while upgrading the facilities to 21st century standards.

“Our idea is to get another 50 years worth of life out of these facilities,” Boudreau said.

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