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Hal Weeks, owner of Weeks Paving, measures an area at the main entrance to Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe High School. Weeks' company is preparing to lay over 500 tons of asphalt around the school before school begins ilater this month.


Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe High School

* Freshman orientation: Aug. 20

* Schedule pick-up: Aug. 21

(sophomores, juniors, seniors)

* First day of school: Aug. 26

* Overall construction cost: $12.5 million

* Started summer 2012, will end in December

The Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe Warriors take pride in their red and black school colors, but construction at the high school has brought a barrage of new hues: yellow bulldozers, orange cones and white hard hats.

EMJ Construction is working to finish the revamped parking lot as the Aug. 26 school start date ticks near. And after two years of housekeeping, a sense of normalcy will be welcome at the school.

“The whole revitalization process has gone very smoothly,” said Marissa Brower, spokeswoman for Catoosa County Schools. “EMJ has done a great job of keeping this project on track.”

Families will use the updated facilities as soon as Aug. 20 for freshman orientation. Sophomores, juniors and seniors are expected to pick up their schedules the next day, and workers are preparing the facility for its more than 1,000 students and faculty for their duties.

Entrances next to the school along busy Battlefield Parkway now are partitioned off into smaller lanes with cones and barrels.

“Paving will begin on August 12, and it should be finished within the week,” Brower said.

The $12.5 million construction project, which started last summer, has revamped everything from the parking lot to a surveillance system to a 53,000-square-foot gymnasium due to open in December. The expansion eliminated some parking between the school and football field, so crews are adding extra space in front of the school.

“We’re right on track unless the weather gives us problems,” said Hal Weeks, owner of Weeks Paving. “It’s been a year with an abnormally wet season.”

Student parking came at a premium last school year. The lots were confined to one-way driving routes, and managing the morning drop-off process was often busy. The area in front of the school was open exclusively to buses.

All this moving and shaking was made possible by a 1 cent education special purpose local option sales tax voters approved in 2011.

<em>Contact staff writer Jeff LaFave at 423-757-6592 or</em>