Glynn County Schools plans to build a third gym on Glynn Academy’s campus.
Construction will not likely begin until 2021. The Glynn County Board of Education reviewed plans for the proposed auxiliary gym at its work session Feb. 6. The new building will be located between the existing main gym and the practice field that parallels Albany Street.
That location currently holds temporary classrooms and old locker room facilities and a weight room.
The auxiliary gym will include a basketball court, two volleyball courts, locker rooms for boys and girls and public restrooms. The gym building will also include space for four classrooms, a conference room and office space for coaches.
Matthew Blackstone, Glynn Academy principal, told the school board that the third gym will help the school meet ongoing space needs.
“Right now, we’re looking to use this for all of our P.E. classes,” Blackstone told the school board. “Right now, we’re using the main gym, which is used for varsity basketball, varsity volleyball. So it’s getting a lot of wear and tear.”
The school also needs to put several classes in the new building. Some teachers at Glynn Academy are currently “floating,” Blackstone said, and moving in and out of classrooms during temporary open periods.
Glynn Academy has undergone significant renovations in the past couple of years that have closed buildings for entire school years. Last year, the Sidney Lanier building was closed for renovation work. This year, the Science Building is closed while construction workers complete renovations during school days.
Glynn Academy’s administrators have dealt with an organizational challenge, moving teachers around campus and creating a temporary media center this year. Portable buildings on campus also house some classrooms.
“We’re still pushing our health classes into other teachers’ classrooms during an open session,” Blackstone said. “So when the portables go away, and all of the other construction is done, we’re still going to be a few classrooms short, which is why we wanted the classrooms, so that we would be able to have that right off of the main gym.”
As the gym dedicated to P.E. classes, the auxiliary gym would receive more “wear and tear” than the gym that currently hosts big sporting events, Blackstone said.
Volleyball practice, wrestling, cheerleading and other teams will benefit from the auxiliary gym, he said.
“We currently use the Wood gym, and I know people will look at it and say, ‘This will give you three gyms,’” he said. “The Wood gym right now is really just a weight room and a partial matted area for yoga classes and for other things. So it’s not a full basketball gym. We really only have one basketball court that’s usable on campus.”
The project has not been put out for bid yet.
“We just wanted to show you initial drawings of what we’ve got for the programming for this new auxiliary gym,” said superintendent Virgil Cole at the meeting Feb. 6.
Several steps must be taken before work can begin on the auxiliary gym, though, said Al Boudreau, executive director of operations for Glynn County Schools.
First, the Science Building has to be reopened to students and teachers. That work is set to be done this summer, and the building will be open next school year.
Then, the seven portable buildings sitting now in the location where the gym will be built have to be moved off campus. Some site work will also need to be completed.
Boudreau estimates work will not begin in earnest on the auxiliary gym until about a year from now.
This project is one of the final Glynn Academy projects on ESPLOST 3. Five years ago, the project was estimated to cost around $4 million, but Boudreau expects that cost has risen.