The project will be funded by $10.6 million from the West Virginia School Building Authority.
While not all school board members liked every detail in the preliminary plans, the board gave approval for Lipp to advance the project. Lipp said his next step will be to show details of the plan to the school's department heads so they can offer suggestions.
The work is necessary to move the county's ninth-grade students, currently in three junior high schools, into the high school. The move also will free up space at the junior high schools.
"It's a little bit frightening thinking about 2,000 students. We've been dealing with 1,200 students and we think that's big now," said Superintendent Jud Romine.
Earlier in the planning, school officials expected the school to house 1,800 students in 1998, but because of rapid growth of the county's population, school officials now believe the school will have around 2,000 pupils.
"At some point, we're going to have to build another high school in this county," Romine said.
Some of the details of the architect's plan:
- The library will be moved to a more central location of the building and more than doubled from 3,000 square feet to more than 6,000 square feet.
The additional size will enable more students to have access to computers and other media. It also will bring the school up to the state requirement on library size.
- The new gymnasium will have a basketball court that is 94-feet long, compared to the existing court's 84 feet.
In addition, with the bleachers pushed in, the school would have two basketball courts side by side so the girls' and boys' teams would be able to practice at the same time. The bleachers would seat about 2,100 people.
- The cafeteria and kitchen area will be expanded to help improve students' lunch service.