EH officials take advantage of summer break, spruce up district

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EASTERN HANCOCK — While there isn’t a flurry of activity at Eastern Hancock schools this summer, the break from classes and schools leaves administrators with a chance to make a few cosmetic changes, officials say.

Superintendent Dr. George Philhower said since they don’t have any summer school classes this year, other than offering some virtual classes for students who may be coming in as transfers, the focus is on the buildings and surroundings.

Other than a few summer camps, like basketball, cheerleading and an alumni game event, the schools are pretty empty, allowing officials to work on improving some areas throughout the corporation. That including getting some larger-scale work done at the district’s elementary school.

Eastern Hancock Elementary will have a fresh feel to the building for the 2022-23 school year. Officials are installing new carpet and applying new paint to make sure the school is sharp and ready for students when they head back. The cost is estimated at roughly $225,000.

“We think that’s really going to look good,” Philhower said of the improvements.

District officials also plan to finish up their high school weight room and locker room project this summer. Student athletes have been busy using the weight room after the major portion of the work was unveiled before the end of the 2022 school year. However, the area still needs some attention.

“We’ve still got a little bit of work to finish up there this summer,” Philhower said.

Another area getting a refresh is the district’s public address system. Plus, their classrooms will all have phones installed in them.

“That’s the first time we’ve ever had that here,” Philhower said.

The timing was right to add the phones since they are redoing the public address system, Philhower said.

“When you’re spending money to open things up and you rewire, it’s just cost efficient to go ahead and do another project at the same time,” he said.

District officials are not spending a great deal of money on the project thanks to their own technology department being able to make the changes and put in the new classroom phone system.

The work for the new PA and phones costs roughly $190,000, an expense much cheaper than if district officials weren’t doing quite a bit of the work themselves.

“We’ve got a fantastic technology department that is handling all of that,” Philhower said.

District officials also just added some rubberized playground surfaces to one of their playgrounds for a cost of $79,000.

Philhower noted all the cosmetic and some physical changes all work together in trying to enhance the overall experience at school.

While there really isn’t any major work going on at the district this summer break, officials throughout the school systems have been busy welcoming in several new educators. So far, they’ve hired a new art teacher; Lorrie Edwards; a new third grade teacher, Nicolle Bailey; a new kindergarten teacher, Kylee Broadwater; a new science teacher, Kristen Fout; and a new 4th grade teacher and computer science teacher, Aaron Amos.

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