Clayton Intermediate School is gearing up for it’s first school year, with the official start of the school year on Monday, Aug. 27.

THE BACKGROUND Clayton Intermediate School is gearing up for it’s first school year, with the official start of the school year on Monday, Aug. 27.

The new school is located on Sorrento Drive off of Underwoods Corner Road in Clayton.

The Smyrna School District will use the roughly 28,000 square foot facility for fifth and sixth grades; there are roughly 29 classrooms, a library, computer labs, gym, and cafeteria. The school includes a solar energy system, which will eventually save the district money, and will also be used as an educational tool for students.

The current fifth and sixth grade school, John Bassett Moore Intermediate School in Smyrna, will continue to be used for fifth and sixth graders; students in the fifth and sixth grade will appreciate the extra space. Smyrna School District Superintendent Debbie Wicks said there were 800 students who attended JBM last year. With the two schools, students will be split so there will be roughly 400 to 500 students at each of the two schools.

Under the district’s feeder patterns, students who attend Clayton and Sunnyside elementary schools will move on to Clayton Intermediate School. Students who attend Smyrna and North Smyrna elementary schools will still attend JBM in downtown Smyrna.

WHAT’S NEW Construction on the roughly $28 million school is under-budget and nearing completion. Wicks said the district has received their certificate of occupancy and the biggest part of the work is done.

While there is still quite a bit to do, it’s the little things like cleaning, bringing the furniture in, and balancing the HVAC system. They’ll be putting a shed behind the school to keep tractors and things for the grounds work. Work is also still being done to put a playground near the side entrance doors to the breakfast club at the school. Eventually there will be athletic fields to the side and behind the school for soccer, football, field hockey and baseball. These fields will be for the use of the school district sports and members of the community.

After years of bringing this new school to fruition, Wicks is happy it’s almost ready to open: “It’s very exciting. It’s always exciting when you start a project. So many hearts and hands go into it, our community approved it and they’re looking forward to seeing it.”

WHAT’S NEXT Teachers will be making their way to Clayton Intermediate in the next couple of weeks. For the present time, neither school will be at capacity so some teachers and positions will be split between the two schools.

Preparing for the school year will be slightly different for Clayton Intermediate than the other schools. Wicks said once the school year starts, the students, teachers and administrators will get a fresh start in a sense because they’ll be able to “develop their own school environment, their own culture.”

Students and their parents can visit the school on Wednesday, Aug. 22 from 3 to 5 p.m. to check out their new school.

There will be a dedication and community open house on Monday, Sept. 10 at 6 p.m., where everyone is invited to come take a look at Clayton Intermediate.

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