‘Rebuilding not only our school but our community…’
Work on underground lines for sewer, water, and electric service was expected to begin this week at the new Lake High School building.
Tim Krugh, president of the Lake school board, said Rudolph/Libbe submitted the lowest of three bids for the first phase of the construction project.
The school board and administration will hold a groundbreaking ceremony for the new school March 27 at 2 p.m. at the school campus at 28080 Lemoyne Rd.
The high school band and choir will perform and school officials and representatives of Rudolph/Libbe and The Collaborative, architect for the project, will speak.
Jim Witt, school superintendent, said he expects site preparation work to be completed in three or four weeks and the next contract bid package for foundation work to be awarded in two weeks.
A team of representatives from the school board, administration, the architect, Rudolph/Libbe, and Project Management Consultants, an engineering firm, meets weekly to review project plans, Krugh said.
“To get the first bid package out and awarded, and to have it come in under projections felt good,” he said. “It’s a long process and we’re taking it one step at a time. We’re all excited. It’s one more step toward rebuilding not only our school but our community and our lives.”
School officials unveiled design plans for the school in December.
The new building, expected to cost about $25.5 million, will cover about 143,000 square feet – about 20,000 square feet more than the former high school building, which was destroyed in last June’s tornado.
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, according to Dan Tabor, of The Collaborative.
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.
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 second-story media center will extend from the east side of the building.
Refreshments will be served at the groundbreaking.
Krugh said the ceremony will be held outside weather permitting. Otherwise it will be held in a building on site being used as a temporary cafeteria.
High school students have been attending classes in a leased facility on Tracy Road.