The District 3 Maintenance Committee gave the go ahead to expend the first funds toward the project Thursday with the approval of the design phase to be completed by Morgan City Architect Carl Blum.
Estimated to cost between $3 million and $3.4 million, the project may include a second floor being added to the currently unused “old” girls’ gym to create additional classroom space.
The project consists of three parts: the library and media center with second floor classrooms, a student commons and air conditioner renovation or replacement.
The library will facilitate stack space, reading areas, computers and storage. Two class-sized meeting areas will be provided within the library as well as possibly a computer lecture room. Also possibilities for the space are a multi-media production room and a conference room, according to a report issued by Blum.
“The full height of the existing gym will be partially used and windows will be cut in the upper gym walls to allow natural light to flood portions of the area. The new space will increase the overall library space by 40 to 60 percent,” the report states.
He notes that budget constraints may require the second floor space to be shelled and finished at a later date.
The student commons area will be a renovation of unused locker rooms between the two original gyms.
The commons area will be designed off the new library as a way of connecting the two main classroom wings. “This open area will become the main corridor crossing the school and will provide a student gathering area as well with lounge seating, all with a view in to the new library. Traffic patterns will improve student comfort and avoid disruption by removing cross traffic during locker breaks,” the report states.
The air conditioner work consists of replacement of some classroom air handling units and associated ductwork. New controls would be installed to allow individual classroom control of temperature.
Preliminary design approval is set for March with bidding in June and construction completion in March 2014.