By Lana Clifton
Change is coming to the Bryant High School campus. In fact, the changes began during the last school year. Students changed where they parked and some classes were moved. The changes are needed to ready the campus for construction of a new high school building and enhancements to existing buildings.
Over the summer, the Bryant School Board has received updates from the architects and construction crews so they can approve different aspects of the project. Partly due to the time involved in reviewing all the information involved and partly due to a desire to keep the project moving, the board has held work sessions to make some of the decisions necessary rather than wait for regular monthly meetings. On July 6, the board met for such a work session and approved several work packages to move the project forward.[more]
According to Superintendent Randy Rutherford, they approved the demolition of buildings 11 and 12 to begin as soon as possible.
“Sometime next week it should go into action,” said Rutherford.
Rutherford said they wanted to start this process soon to protect students who will arrive on campus Aug. 19.
“We will have fences up to protect students,” explained Rutherford. “Demolition will be done so students can maneuver through campus safely.” He said many of the changes they made last year as far as what areas are open or closed to students will still be the same.
The dirt work project was also approved by the board. The new building will be built in tiers, so before they pour the foundation and start construction on the actual building, contractors must set the dirt at the right levels to support the building properly. According to Rutherford, this dirt work will begin as soon as possible. Demolition of building 10 will be included in this package.
The third package the board approved was the erosion package. They approved this to allow contractors to put necessary barriers in place to prevent erosion of soil during the construction process.
According to Rutherford, the board also approved the final square footage of the new building to be 127,091. This is down from the original drawing, which made the building 149,000 square feet. The change in size will reduce the price of the project; something Rutherford said is an important consideration to the board.
“Our goal is to be good stewards of the tax payers’ money,” said Rutherford, “and have a good facility for students.”
Although the approval of the building included all room, hallway and office sizes, more decisions must be made on the types of materials to be used and on extra enhancements to the building and campus such as a proposed outdoor amphitheater.
The board will hold another work session on Friday, July 16 at 5 p.m., in the Professional Development Center to make these decisions. They plan to go line by line through the different materials and enhancements proposed by the contractors and will decide what items can be changed to reduce cost and what items need to remain the same to retain a quality building and campus.