Posted: Wednesday, October 24, 2012

School Board, Community Leaders Break Ground on Dr. Phinnize J. Fisher Middle SchoolHigh-tech School Named After Former Superintendent
The Greenville County Schools school board, administration, and community and business leaders today held a groundbreaking ceremony for the new Dr. Phinnize J. Fisher Middle School, located on the CUICAR/Millennium campus on Millennium Boulevard.

The location for Dr. Phinnize J. Fisher Middle School was made possible with the support of Mr. Clifford Rosen, CEO of Rosen Associates, who was instrumental in the development of the CUICAR/Millennium campus. He generously sold the property to the school district at a greatly reduced price compared to similar properties in the area.

“We are very appreciative of Mr. Rosen’s generosity and support of our students, schools and community,” said District Superintendent W. Burke Royster. “You just have to look around to understand that this is not the usual location for a school. Through close association with Clemson University and businesses within the park, Dr. Phinnize J. Fisher Middle School will become another education jewel for this community and school district,” he said.

The instructional program will encompass the four traditional areas of STEM-based curriculum: science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. The arts, a strong focus of the Greenville community, will be the fifth area, establishing, what may be the nation’s first STEAM middle school. The school’s project-based curriculum determined the unique design of the facility. 

Dr. Phinnize J. Fisher Middle School will feature six learning communities of about 125 students each with eight different instructional spaces for each learning community.  The school’s exterior will be modern and inviting, and will fit in with the other facilities in CU-ICAR and the Millennium Campus.

The flexible instructional spaces will allow various equipment to be brought in during the school year for students to conduct research.  By working with local industries and businesses, Dr. Phinnize J. Fisher Middle School will establish an innovative learning environment to expand learning through hands-on applications that can then be duplicated in other schools.

The 136,000 square-foot facility, which will pursue Green Globes and Energy Star certifications, will be equipped with a net zero greenhouse facility, a wind harvest system for power, solar panels for hot water production, and low impact storm water collection.  The school will be situated on the site to take best advantage of natural lighting and will be equipped with the latest LED lighting.

The new school, which will be constructed to serve up to 750 students, with possible expansion for up to 1,000 students, will relieve overcrowding at Beck, Bryson, Hillcrest, Mauldin, and Riverside middle schools and is scheduled to open in August, 2014.

The school is named after former superintendent Dr. Phinnize J. Fisher, who served as superintendent of Greenville County Schools for eight years.

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