The Ware County School System hosted a Groundbreaking Ceremony for its new Transportation and Professional Development Facility on Friday morning, January 19th, at 10AM at the new construction site, which is located adjacent to the current Transportation Facility behind Wacona Elementary School. Distinguished guests from the community were in attendance, and former Directors of Transportation, including Ben Butler, C. D. Vinson, Mary Beverly, Harvey Musgrove, Cliff Fussell, Lee Robertson, and John Chancey were recognized by Superintendent of Schools Jim L. LeBrun. Of special recognition was Ms. Jennifer King, a 35-year employee of the Transportation Department, and members of the Ware County Board of Education, whose dedication to growth spurred this project to fruition.
Chairman of the Board Franklin Pinckney welcomed attendees to the event, and Vice Chairman Dee Meadows offered an invocation. The Ware County High School Color Guard presented colors as Dr. Rena Riviere, Army JROTC Instructor, led attendees in the Pledge of Allegiance. Select members of Mrs. Greta Thomas's WCHS chorus, sang a beautiful rendition of the national anthem. It is quite fitting that students, who are the ultimate benficiaries of the Transportation Department's move into the 21st century, were part of the program.
The Ware County Transportation Department's 90 employees make up the backbone of the school system, as they service busses and transport precious cargo to and from school every day. The current facility they call home dates back to the 1940s and has served the community and school system well. But, as current Director of Transportation Joe Meadows noted, "We have simply outgrown what is here now."
In sharing his vision for the new facility, Meadows noted that upgrades in the technology infrastructure will take the system and staff places it has not been able to go up until this point. The new fueling and routing/mapping systems will be state of the art and make for more efficient use of funds and time as well as enhance safety practices.
"In our profession, safety is always our first priority," Meadows said.
The Transportation Facility will also be home to a Professional Development Center that will provide many benefits for employees within the system, the RESA district, and even the state. The school system has outgrown its current professional development meeting site.
In his closing remarks, Superintendent LeBrun announced that construction is planned for an additional location at the Wacona Elementary site - one that will answer the questions, "What is that and why is it there?" That is, the wall that replicates the facade of the original Wacona High School building, also known as The Alamo, will now be turned into an outdoor classroom to expand the learning opportunities afforded to Wacona Elementary students.
The Ware County Board of Education and Superintendent LeBrun wish to thank the Waycross and Ware County community for making the construction of these facilities possible through the one cent ESPLOST. Please drive by the construction site to see YOUR pennies at work!
Members of Parrish Construction and Douglas A. Neal Architect firm, Ware County Schools employees, and the Ware County Board Members break ground on the new facility.
L to R: Curt Eckman and Mike Maultsby (Parrish Construction), Director of Maintenance Robert Benchoff, Doug Neal (Architect), Director of Transportation Joe Meadows. Superintendent Jim L. LeBrun, and Board Members Oneida Oliver-Sanders, Buster Tyre, Chairman Franklin Pinckney, Vice Chairman Dee Meadows, and Rusty Ganas
Members of the chorus sing the national anthem as the Color Guard presents the flags in the background.