Interior drywall on schedule at Polaris Tech, site work and exterior to ramp up after July 4.

Interior drywall on schedule at Polaris Tech, site work and exterior to ramp up after July 4.

Interior drywall on schedule at Polaris Tech, site work and exterior to ramp up after July 4.

Crews are putting the finishing touches on the interior drywall at Polaris Tech Charter School in Ridgeland, SC, and exterior work and landscaping will start after the July 4 holiday.

The new school’s heating and air conditioning system is installed and all other electrical and plumbing has been roughed in for the lighting and fixtures.

"We are moving ahead, on schedule for our August opening," said Sandra Chavez, chair of the Polaris Tech Planning Committee. "The inside is really starting to take shape and the contractor expects to have all che drywall done in about two weeks- from there, it's a lot of detail work inside the school but we will be much closer to completion."

The facility is located in Ridgeland, across from the county airport on the site of the fonner hospital on Grays Highway.

Furnishings and technology for the new school have been ordered, teachers have been hired and their training is being planned. The Polaris Tech teaching model is more project-based than traditional classrooms and will be a more student-centered abnosphere than many schools.

Polaris Tech is a state-approved charter school to serve middle and high school students from Jasper County and the Lowcountry. It is a free school (no tuition), that will focus on preparing young people for successful work and college.

About 280 students in grades 6-10 are expected to open the new school year in mid-August.

"I have been amazed at the pace of construction and the contractor's hard work to make up some days that were lost due to rain earlier this spring. They have done an amazing job," said Dr. William Singleton, a founding member of Polaris Tech and a fonner superintendent of the Jasper County School District. 

Since school and community leaders broke ground in mid-January, construction crews have worked non-stop to erect the 28,000-square foot Phase One part of Polaris Tech. This section will house classrooms, learning labs and administrative space.

Phase Two, several years away, will provide additional space for teaching and learning, as well as for the various career pathways.

The Polaris Tech academic emphasis will be on six career areas: Aerospace, Health Science, lnfomrntion Technology, Logistics, Advanced Manufacturing, and Business Management. Polaris Tech will serve students in grades 6-10 for the school year starting in August, then add 11th grade the following year and, in 2020-21, will graduate its first senior class.

Dr. Melissa Crosby, most recently principal of Colleton County High School and New Cougar Tech, is executive director for Polaris Tech.

To keep updated about Polaris Tech Charter School, follow them on Facebook and at www.polaristech.org. For specific questions, email info@polaristech.org or call 843-645-0605.