School Expansions Get Green Light

By: Philip Stewart Email
By: Philip Stewart Email

September 6, 2007

The two construction designs approved by the Albemarle County School Board will make room for students at Albemarle High School and Greer Elementary.

"I feel like everything went well tonight," said Dr. Matt Haas, the principal at Albemarle High School. "I think we were able to address all the goals of the project and support student learning."

At the high school, the preliminary design creates a new, more secure entrance to the school. There will be more classrooms and more administration space.

The additions will also eliminate the trailers in the parking lot, and allow the school to hold more than 1,700 students.

"We've included staff and students on a committee to work on the design to keep it in the scope and the budget that the taxpayers and the school board expects," said Haas.

The price tag at Albemarle: about $11 million. The project should be done by the fall of 2009.

Meanwhile, the plans for Greer Elementary will be done in two phases.

Phase one will will get underway in the spring of '08, and includes renovations to existing classrooms and the building the school's first real gym.

Phase two will include the addition of more than a dozen new classrooms. But that won't get started until 2010.

"The addition of classrooms is a capacity issue that's not there right now, so that's in a second phase to increase capacity because of developments that we know of that have been approved for building," explained Dr. Diane Behrens with the Albemarle County School District.

The work at Greer should total about $13 million dollars.

Both designs are preliminary plans and they will likely change a bit in the coming months and years. But the ultimate goal of having enough room for students at both schools should be achievable in just a few years.

School officials are also looking into environmentally friendly ideas for the new additions. Thursday night one planner said a green roof at the high school, for example, could be just one of those Eco-friendly features.

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