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New day dawns for school
Principal Lori Joiner could not remove the grin from her face as she showed off the soon-to-be-opened Risley Middle School on South Port Parkway in southwest Glynn County.

"I am so excited," Joiner said. "We all are. I'm impressed at how far we've come, and it's only June."

The 140,000-square-foot, environmentally friendly school will open its doors to 600 students for the first time Aug. 9.

The $24 million expenditure has produced a building that meets requirements for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, or LEED, certification.

Classrooms for core subjects, divided by grade level, are located at one end of the school, with classrooms for classes like music and career courses on the other end.

Each wing is connected by galleries -- large, open areas where sunlight pours in from windows positioned near the tops of high ceilings.

When all furniture and equipment are in place, the school will feature 400 computers, 6,000 library books and 60 iPads, which will be part of a pilot program to test the use of tablet computers as an instructional tool, Joiner said.

School system operations director Al Boudreau says the building be will ready for classes on the first day of school, and will be completed $500,000 under budget.

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