The Walton County Board of Education is poised to take the next step on the planned expansion of the aging Loganville High School building.
Loganville High School is the oldest public high school building in the county as other schools have been replaced with funds from the Education Local Option Sales Tax in recent years but the county is looking to spend more than $11 million to bring about some necessary changes at LHS.
“We’ve been working on this project since last spring,” Chip Underwood, assistant superintendent of facilities, maintenance and operation for the Walton County School District.
Working with Parrish Construction, the school district is set to approve at Tuesday’s regular monthly board meeting funds for a series of needed improvements and expansions at the LHS campus.
If approved, the board would set a maximum spending cost of $10 million for the actual construction costs, with an additional $1 million for furniture and other accessories to fill the new classrooms.
Modifications and additions set to be approved include modifying the front office area to bring it in line with the other high schools for security reasons; securing outdoor student circulation areas, where students leave the building and re-enter other structures, by installing walls, barriers and safety doors; re-roofing the entire building, as well as replacing ceiling tiles in most of the indoor hallways; adding a cooking area to the cafeteria kitchen; and replacing almost all the school’s aging HVAC units.
The biggest change, however, is the construction of a multi-purpose gymnasium, with locker rooms to service the new gym, and 10 classrooms around the new structure. The additional space would be added to the left side of the front of the building, just beside the school’s current auditorium, and would require building out into the parking lot and re-directing the flow of traffic around the new addition.
Nathan Franklin, superintendent of WCSD, said it was a big project for the school system, which hasn’t tackled such a major construction challenge since the whirlwind erection of multiple new school buildings during the last ELOST funding period.
“This is a bigger logistical challenge than last year’s work at Youth Middle School,” Franklin said. “This right in the middle of things. But these guys we’ve contracted with are giant-killers. We’re lucky to have them.”
If approved on Tuesday, work could begin as early as April with the majority of the disruptive construction occurring during the summer vacation period to avoid interfering with school operations.
The board will consider the issue at its regular meeting Tuesday beginning at 5:30 p.m.