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School board sees preliminary designs of possible high school renovation

Posted on Saturday, April 26, 2014 at 9:00 am

Architect Alan Stephenson shows members of the Moore County school board a preliminary floor plan of a renovation and expansion of Moore County High School. (MCN Photo by Robert Holman)

Architect Alan Stephenson shows members of the Moore County school board a preliminary floor plan of a renovation and expansion of Moore County High School. (MCN Photo by Robert Holman)

Moore County school board members met with representatives from Oliver-Little-Gipson (OLG) Engineering, Inc., on Monday night to discuss the possibility of a new addition at Moore County High School, along with multiple improvements to the current building as well as the possibility of new athletic facilities.

The presentation by OLG, a Tullahoma-based engineering firm, was held during the regular monthly meeting of the Moore County Board of Education. The school board heard ideas on how to maximize space at MCHS using both the current 86,000 square foot structure, along with an approximate 28,000 foot addition.

“The first day that they walked through the building was March 7,” said Moore County Director of Schools Chad Moorehead. “This group was involved in the engineering portion of the elementary school renovation a few years back. At the request of the board, I wanted to get in touch with them and get some ideas.”

The team from OLG spoke for about 35 minutes, presented the board with a proposed layout of the finished product and gave, MCHS principal Buddy Smith and others in attendance a rendering of the floor plan. It was stressed that the architect’s work was in its extreme infancy — very preliminary at best — and there is no funding in place to move forward with the project.

“The next step is not feasible based on the current school system budget,” added Moorehead. “The next step would be going before the (Metro) council (to make) a presentation for funding.”

Architect Alan Stephenson, who was with the OLG group to present the plan, echoed that, in comparison to beginning the actual project, this step just scratched the surface.

“We’ve spent a good three weeks looking at this and talking about this, (but) all of these ideas are just thoughts at this point,” said Stephenson. “We don’t mean to imply that this is a solution; this is just the result of a few conversations.”

The group shared both the preliminary drawings, as well as their thoughts.

“The good thing is that your building is a good building. We’ve been in many schools, looked at them and said, ‘Is this building worth saving?’ That’s not an issue here,” said Tim Little. “This plan can be modified … made to fit your needs. Items can be phased in. There are many options. You have enough site, you have enough classrooms to serve your needs.”

A number of factors prompted the exploration and potential development of and upgrade to the school facilities.

For more on this story, see the April 24 print edition of The Moore County News. To subscribe, click here.

—By ROBERT HOLMAN, editor & publisher

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