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Posted 12/6/2017

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By Sean McBride


“Hurry up and dig” was the most memorable line from the original song performed by eager first graders at the recent groundbreaking ceremony for Pierce Terrace Elementary School at Fort Jackson in Columbia, S.C.

The song was one of several performed by the students on a beautiful, warm day where six shovels pierced the ground for the first time on the site of the new school. The Charleston and Savannah Districts are partnering together to construct the new $27 million 21st Century School, which will be open for 325 students in August 2019.

“We can think of this day as the start of something special,” said Dr. Raymond Burk, principal of Pierce Terrace. “In approximately two years, we will have a new home that our entire learning community deserves. Our new home will provide us with all of the learning, collaborative, and community amenities we need as we continue our transformation towards an exceptional 21st century learning environment.”

Pierce Terrace will be the Department of Defense Education Activity’s newest 21st Century School design, featuring expandable walls to adjust to year-over-year classroom size changes, grade “neighborhoods,” outdoor amphitheater, butterfly garden and an energy dashboard that will monitor the energy use from each classroom.

“The Army Corps of Engineers, Charleston District, the Department of Defense Education Activity, our own Garrison Directorates of Public Works, Emergency Services, Family and MWR, and many more all worked together diligently behind the scenes to make this project a reality,” said Col. Stephen Elder, Fort Jackson Garrison Commander. “Their dedicated service directly supports Fort Jackson Soldiers and their families. On behalf of these deserving families and their children, I thank you all.”

The Charleston District is overseeing the design and construction contract from the Fort Jackson Resident Office using the requirements package created by the Savannah District. This ongoing partnership is typical of the Corps in order to best-utilize the talents and resources of the South Atlantic Division. The new Pierce Terrace Elementary School will be a much-needed upgrade and a wonderful culmination of efforts by all involved.

Fort Jackson