A special meeting of the Lake school board has been scheduled for June 3 to review contract bids for an interior renovation project at Lake High School to build additional classrooms.
The meeting, which will be held in the Middle School Media Center, will start at 5 p.m.
If a contract is awarded, the additional classrooms will be constructed on the second floor of what is called the Extended Learning Area of the high school, said Jeff Carpenter, district treasurer.
The school board in April approved the hiring of the architectural firm, The Collaborative, Inc., to oversee the renovation. The firm was also the architect for the design of the new high school building, which opened in August after a June 2010 tornado destroyed the former high school.
Carpenter said the additional classrooms are needed to accommodate a planned shift of grades caused by the closing of Walbridge Elementary School last year as part of an austerity measure.
The new classrooms will allow for eighth graders to be moved from the middle school to the high school and fifth graders to the middle school, he said.
Tim Krugh, board president, said the plan calls for six classrooms to be constructed.
Because the entire project involves interior work, school officials are cautiously optimistic the added classrooms will be open for the 2013-14 school year, Carpenter said.
“If the bids come in around where we expect them to be, work can start right away,” he said, adding the architect will likely make a recommendation at the board meeting.
Superintendent Jim Witt said the project doesn’t entail an addition to the high school, noting the area was designated for classrooms in the original design drawings.
“There is a shell of an area already with a rooftop unit in place, rough-ins for electrical and other structural mandates ready to go. We will need to frame and drywall to shape the classrooms, add electrical and technology components, and furnish the area with casework,” he said. “We realize that the timeframe is tight but we believe it is in the best interests of our students to complete this move, if possible.”
The project will be funded through a gift from the estate of Joseph Baker, the proceeds from the sale of the Walbridge Elementary School building, cost savings realized from the closing of the building and possibly with permanent improvement revenue, he said.