Tucked between the current Morrison-Gordon Elementary School and the forest sits the facade of the new school building that should be filled with school children come August.

The Athens Messenger toured the construction site, scheduled for completion for the start of the next school year.

Like at East Elementary, one of the main design philosophies in the new Morrison-Gordon will be to bring in as much natural lighting as possible, Athens City School District Superintendent Tom Gibbs said.

Light radiates into the main gym/cafeteria, which will be partitioned by a moveable wall. Each classroom has a large window that allows for natural lighting in.

The building departs from East Elementary in layout, Gibbs said. Whereas East Elementary features an “L” shaped design, Morrison-Gordon will take an “H” shape.

While both buildings will have the same number of classrooms and roughly the same square footage, this “H” shape allows Morrison-Gordon students to enjoy an enclosed courtyard with an entrance at the media center.

It also creates the sense of two buildings connected by a hallway. One side of the building houses the gym, cafeteria, and administrative complex, and the other side is the academic wings with classrooms.

Bricklayers were seen enclosing the cement blocks in with brick. Gibbs said the bricklaying process will take several months.

One major operation the ACCD still needs done for the completion of the project, Gibbs said, is the demolition of the old school building. That will happen shortly after the current school year ends.

The project cost roughly $18 million and is scheduled to complete on time.

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