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Jefferson County Board of Education gives good marks to new school's design

September 03, 2004|by DAVE McMILLION

charlestown@herald-mail.com

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. - Although they expressed concerns about funding for the project earlier in the meeting, Jefferson County Board of Education members gave high marks to the preliminary design of a second high school Thursday night.

Officials with Alpha Associates Inc., a Martinsburg architectural firm, gave an overview of how the proposed new high school, which will be built adjacent to the Huntfield development, will appear.

School officials have said the school will draw on classic designs like those at Shepherdstown Middle School and Wright Denny Elementary School.

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At the entrance to the school, a dome will be constructed on the top of the building.

Projected onto a screen, school board members were shown different angles of the high school on a computer-generated model of the facility.

It will include features like library that faces onto an outdoor courtyard, a greenhouse, a music theory lab and a large curved window in the cafeteria, which will allow students to look out at a mountain landscape while they are eating, officials with Alpha Associates said.

"We're trying to give it some nice visual touches," said Richard Klein, a civil engineer who works for Alpha Associates.

The school will have a gymnasium with seating for 1,500, Alpha Associates spokesman Jim Davison said.

There will be a creative arts center, which will include a visual arts area and an auditorium with seating for 500, Davison said.

In a science and technology center, labs will be build for computer training. The labs are designed to be available to adults to use after school hours, Davison said.

In the academic areas, subject areas such as math, social studies and language arts classes will be clustered, Davison said.

Outside, a soccer and football combination playing field will be built, as will two baseball fields, two softball fields, a practice area for the marching band and a practice area for ROTC, Klein said.

The school will have a capacity for 1,200 students, school officials said.

"This is wonderful. I love it," said school board member Delores Milstead.

Architects said they will continue fine-tuning the drawings and bring them back to the board in about three weeks.

The construction project, which will include the renovation of Jefferson High School, will cost about $48 million.

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