Superintendent Karen DeLano has been working to update the Facilities Plan 2024 for some time, and this week, announced changes in the time line for that plan.
The Facilities Plan 2024 outlines future facilities projects, including a new elementary school, a second high school and an addition to the second high school.
As has already been announced, a new elementary school will open in 2018 off Richland Road. Initially, the facilities plan proposed opening a new elementary school in 2019, but because of rapidly increasing enrollment at the elementary level, DeLano recommended the Board of Education move forward with a new elementary school.
The new elementary school is expected to have a bid date of May 1, with construction mobilizing on June 1, according to Tim Cantey with TCU Consulting Services.
Once the elementary school is opened, a sister school will open in 2021 for Yarbrough Elementary School, and a second high school is expected to open in 2022 — to be located on property off Richland Road. The original Facilities Plan 2024 showed a second high school opening earlier, in 2020.
"Looking at our demographics study, we believe we can wait until 2022-23 to open — not start building, but to open — a second high school," DeLano said. "So we have time to watch. At this point in time we feel we can push that to 2022 and recommend it be 1,800 seats."
An addition of 600 seats could occur later, as needed.
The board heard an update at its meeting this week of the new high school, which has a completion date of April 28.
Cantey said everyone is working to get over "one of the last big humps" — that is, getting all the furniture and equipment in, whether the items are coming from the existing high school or being delivered new from various companies. The board approved bid results from the lowest bidders for FF&E (furniture, fixture and equipment) packages, including cafeteria furniture, office furniture, classroom furniture and weight training equipment, among other things.
"The next couple months will be key," Cantey said.
The board also approved East Samford School as the new name for the current Auburn Junior High School. Once the new high school is complete and grades are reconfigured, the existing high school will become the AJHS, which would have left the current junior high school without a name.
The East Samford School will house seventh grade starting next school year.