Six months after a tornado destroyed the Lake High School building, district officials have unveiled plans for a new building they say will be open for the 2012-13 school year.
Tim Krugh, school board president, said Wednesday the project will cost about $25.5 million and retain features of the former building which the community said it wanted, including a fixed-seat auditorium and a field house.
The new building will cover about 143,000 square feet, about 20,000 square feet more than building it replaces.
The main entrance faces to the west and will be flanked by office space. A two-story glass atrium will run the length of the building, enabling it to take advantage of natural light, said Dan Tabor, of The Collaborative, lead architect for the project.
He said the entrance will lead to a concourse to be called “the runway.” Instead of long corridors of classrooms, the new building will cluster classrooms in what Tabor called “academic houses” at the east end of the building. Each will have its own restrooms and locker areas.
A gymnasium that can seat 1,800 and an auditorium that seats just under 500 will be located between the classroom areas and main entrance.
|Artist rendering of the new Lake High School.|
The exterior of the building “takes its cue from the design of the middle school” which sits at the same campus at the corner of State Route 795 and Lemoyne Road.
A memorial site to honor the seven persons killed in the June 5 tornado will be erected on school grounds and include seven trees, Tabor said, and a temporary cafeteria building will be converted into a training room for the wrestling program.
A second-story media center will extend from the east side of the building.
Krugh said the school board and administration pressed for an opening of the new building no later than the 2012-13 school year, fearing a delay past then would hurt enrollment and increase expenses incurred with temporarily housing high school students in a leased facility on Tracy Road.
The board reached a settlement in September of $19.1 million with the district’s insurer for the destroyed building, he said, and received a grant of $4.8 million from the Ohio School Facilities Commission and $500,000 through the Kohl’s Cares fundraiser.
A committee that included Krugh, Jim Witt, district superintendent; Eric Hirzel, a school board member; Dave Shaffer, director of grounds, maintenance, and athletics, and Lee Herman, principal of the high school and middle school, interviewed prospective architects and builders for the project, selecting Rudolph/Libbe as the design builder last month and The Collaborative in October..
Attorneys for the district are currently negotiating with The Collaborative and Rudolph/Libbe on a guaranteed maximum price for the project, Krugh said.
The school board, he said, is committed to constructing a new school without seeking tax revenues from the public because the district will likely need additional operating levy funds in one or two years.
The board hosted a reception for the public Wednesday evening to unveil the plans. A press conference for news media was held in the afternoon.