As many Spartans know, construction on the front entrance of North Springs started in June 2014. It was supposed to be done by the first day of second semester. Millions of dollars later, the front entrance of the school is not done yet. It is now expected to be done at the end of January, and last resort, by February 26th before the North Springs-hosted STEM event.
The funding for this ambitious project to re-do the front entrance was a few million dollars. North Springs did not pay for any of the construction with all of the funding coming from Fulton County. The money from Fulton County was generated through a program called SPLOST, which stands for special-purpose local-option sales tax. This is a 1% sales tax that counties in Georgia can choose to levy if they wish. It can only go to construction/renovation of schools, parks, and other public facilities. This SPLOST revenue went to North Springs and over the summer with this money, many floors, the production suite, and the roof were re-done, as well as the front entrance.
There has been some criticism in general from North Springs students about front entrance construction. “I think the construction is a waste of time because we are spending a significant amount of money for a part of the school whose purpose does not directly aid the students’ education, when we could be spending the money on something like band instruments, which has direct benefits,” remarked Mandy Peskin, a junior at North Springs. Many students have been critical in this manner, saying that there are other things that could be purchased. Anonymously, some students have commented that they wish that the county spent money on things that will directly help the students, such as increased paper for the teachers, better computers, and more soap in the bathrooms. “I think it is a complete waste of time, money, and energy,” commented one anonymous senior.
While some students think the front entrance construction is a waste of money, others disagree. “I don’t think it is a waste of money because it makes our school look better and presentable. I think its important because if our outside looks good, people will think our school is good,” added Nina Dagher, a sophomore. The main purpose of the construction is, “to improve school safety and security,” said Dr. Eddie Ruiz, principal of North Springs. When the construction is done, “guests will need to buzz in and get their ID checked and teachers will have to scan their badges,” Ruiz added. A new system will also be put in place called “Raptor”. This system will allow so that if a person comes and scans their ID card and they are for example a registered sex offender, the person monitoring the front entrance would know.
In terms of the new aesthetic of the school, the entrance will face Roswell Road. When completed, there will be long windows and a new lobby to show. There will still be a dedicated bus lane. Students will no longer go through the gym or through the side of the building, only through the front doors.
Construction on North Springs will not be complete for a while. Fulton County Education officials a few years ago went around to every single school in the county assessing the need for renovation, the need to demolish and rebuild, or no need at all to do anything. North Springs was noted to need certain construction, and it noted the chance for North Springs to be rebuilt. “We might have a new school in 5-10 years,” commented Ruiz.
This upcoming summer, North Springs will undergo further repair using SPLOST money. North Springs will be getting whiteboards for every class, new tracks, and interactive projectors.