Final plans for new high school expected by Dec. 14

~OPN Architects rendering

The Greene County school board should have the final design for the new high school and regional career academy by Dec. 14 according to Sam Harding, a member of the board’s facilities committee.

Harding said the final design is very different than the conceptual drawings provided by OPM Architects leading up to the bond referendum last spring. “We thought those ideas looked good, but after touring some buildings and listening to a lot of people, there have been changes,” Harding said. “The architects have been really good about getting input from a lot of different people,” he added.

Changes have been made to accommodate cost increases due to tariffs on construction items like structural steel. A bus drive from American Ave was taken out of the plan at a savings of $400,000. The bid specs will still include the drive as option depending on how other bids come in.

Cost savings are also coming from reducing space in some places, including the commons areas. “Those commons areas were probably bigger than we needed in the first plans. What we have now, especially in the central commons, is still nice and voluminous,” Harding said.

The new building will have the same number of classrooms as the current building. The science labs, the art room and the media center, as well as some classrooms, will be on the second floor. Other subjects will be taught on the first floor, as well as music and phys ed.
Harding estimated the cost per square foot at $275.

After the design is final complete plans will be available for the public to view at the administrative building. Drawings will also be provided to local media for their use in informing the public.

Harding said some design work has been started for repurposing the current high school as a middle school, but that a lot of that planning is contingent on what funds are available. The total project – high school/career academy and the repurposing – cannot exceed the $35.48 million (with $21.48 of that as a bond issue) approved by voters in April.

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