Chatham Grove Elementary School Update
Chatham Grove Elementary School will become Chatham County School’s newest elementary school. The building site is located on a 24-acre site at 1301 Andrews Store Road, Pittsboro. It will be a 105,000-sf facility that will accommodate 750 students. Currently, even though there has been some inclement weather, the school is still projected to open in August 2020.
This is a 33.1-million-dollar project which includes the land, school, and all requirements set forth by the Department of Public Instruction. The NCDPI requirements include 39 academic classrooms, 1 pre-k classroom, 2 self-contained, exceptional education classrooms, 2 cultural arts classrooms, a media center, a cafeteria, and a gymnasium shared with a County Rec Center.
The Chatham County Parks and Recreation Department and Chatham County Schools will share the gymnasium. It is the first joint-use recreation center in Chatham County. The gymnasium is located at the end of the school. It will house a full-size basketball court, two rooms for meetings or activities, offices, lobby, restrooms, and a kitchen. This allows Parks and Rec to use this for community programming while the school is closed for students. The school does have priority for usage.
Chatham Grove Elementary is being built as a LEED silver certified school, will meet EnergyStar certification requirements, and Duke Energy’s Energy Efficiency Design Assistance Program. LEED stands for Leadership Energy Environmental Design. The special features of a LEED certified school include geothermal, LED lighting, lighting controls, and low-flow plumbing fixtures, among other systems and features. “LEED provides a pathway to building schools that are environmentally sound, energy efficient, and create a good indoor environment,” stated Randy Drumheller, Chatham County Schools Director of Maintenance and Construction.
Chatham Grove Elementary will integrate several security features. To begin, the school is entirely connected. The students and staff will not have to exit the premises during the day. There will be a single point of entry for visitors that must be buzzed into the school. They will then have a staging area in the reception office. There will be security glazing in strategic areas throughout the school and the number of exterior doors has been reduced. A security perimeter fence will be installed and security cameras will be utilized.
One area of concern is the traffic congestion on Andrews Store Road. The NC Department of Transportation is currently in the planning process to help alleviate the congestion at this intersection. There is discussion of this becoming a signalized intersection, although this decision has not yet been finalized.
There will be three meetings scheduled for public input on student zoning by the end of February 2019. The meetings will be held at each of the following locations: Perry Harrison Elementary, Pittsboro Elementary, and North Chatham Elementary. “Those in attendance will have an opportunity to gain understanding about our growing student population and how Chatham Grove Elementary School would address that. Attendees will be able to offer input about zoning, and there will be a time for questions and answers. The goal is to finalize the new attendance zone by June 2019,” stated John McCann, Chatham County Schools Public Relations Coordinator.
Chatham Education Foundation seeks to open doors to education and personal growth for all students in Chatham county. By partnering with community residents, businesses, and foundations, CEF is improving education opportunities for Chatham County Schools students.