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New Chatham County middle school aims at high recognition

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CHATHAM COUNTY, N.C. – The new Margaret B. Pollard Middle School in Chatham County hopes to receive special recognition once it's completed.

The $24 million project aims at being the first middle school in the state to receive LEED gold certification.

The school will alleviate overcrowding in the northeastern part of the county.

“We're so near Chapel Hill and Research Triangle Park that we've seen a lot of growth in the last few years so this is where we needed the new school,” said Beth McCullough, the public information officer for the Chatham County School System.

The school will house 470 students but has plenty of room for growth. The science labs have even been equipped to fit more students later down the road.

“It's a pretty large area now for the anticipated amount of students that we might have,” said Randy Drumheller, the Chatham County schools construction manager.

They're focus is on green features including natural lighting and indoor air quality.

“Artificial lights will automatically dim and increase as light is coming through the glass,” Drumheller said.

Crews broke ground in the fall of 2008 and the recession stopped work for a few months, but county commissioners made a commitment to finish the project.

“This was important and this was necessary for our school system,” McCullough said.

The project is expected to be completed by late November or early December, but students won't enter the classrooms until after the Christmas holidays.

This will be the 17th school in Chatham County.

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