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Magnet school construction complete

Set back on the campus of the Clayton County Performing Arts Center is the new home of the district’s fine arts magnet program, Martha Ellen Stillwell School of the Arts. (Staff Photo: Johnny Jackson)

Set back on the campus of the Clayton County Performing Arts Center is the new home of the district’s fine arts magnet program, Martha Ellen Stillwell School of the Arts. (Staff Photo: Johnny Jackson)

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Workers clean up around the site of the new fine arts magnet high school in Jonesboro. Officials plan to open the facility in January. (Staff Photo: Johnny Jackson)

JONESBORO — Passers-by can see the completed facade of Clayton County’s newest high school.

SPLOST Coordinator John Holloway, in an update to the school board this month, reported the board was 83 percent through its payments on the construction of the new fine arts magnet high school.

The board made a $1.8 million payment in July for construction on the Martha Ellen Stillwell School of the Arts, which is adjacent to the Clayton County Performing Arts Center in Jonesboro.

The school is named after a well-known teacher in Clayton County, whose studded career as a music educator spanned 30 years. Martha Ellen Stillwell retired in 1995.

Stillwell’s legacy was enshrined in an art gallery at the Performing Arts Center the year of her retirement, which came after 27 years of service as the district’s first fine arts coordinator. Prior to that position, she taught third-grade for a few years.

Officials said she earned several accolades throughout her career, including the 1995 Distinguished Alumna of the Year from Union University and the 1990 Georgia Music Educator of the Year.

Her latest name-sake is SPLOST-IV funded — a brick building with a glass wall entrance.

Workers have been landscaping the site and finishing the conjoined parking lots this month as contractors work inside on punch list items and rough-in projects.

Designed by BRPH Inc. out of Atlanta, the building has seemingly risen out of the ground over the past 18 months.

The facility is constructed by Cooper & Co. based in Cumming, Ga. Contractors began mobilization on the site in February 2013 and managed through an unruly winter this past year.

The building’s completion date was set for Aug. 13, but students are expected to start classes in January.

The new school will take students from the existing magnet school program housed at Mount Zion High, across Mount Zion Parkway.