SOUTHWEST FORSYTH -- In a field surrounded by trees and farmhouses, Forsyth County Schools staff and board members broke ground Wednesday on what will become the county’s next high school.
Denmark High School, located on 100-plus acres at 645 Mullinax Road between Mullinax and Fowler roads, is scheduled to open fall 2018, with construction set to begin in the next week or two.
“It’s an absolutely beautiful parcel of land,” Forsyth County Schools Superintendent Jeff Bearden said.
Barton Malow Company was awarded the contract to build the district’s sixth traditional high school for $72.1 million.
In line with the mascot chosen earlier this year, the Denmark Danes should be able to complete a career technical pathway in animal sciences.
“You can tell by visiting the property it kind of lends itself to that,” Bearden said. “So we’re excited we’re going to be able to add another career tech pathway for our students.”
A massive covered, open-sided equestrian competition arena is thought to become the home of the school’s marching band, and stables, a hay shed and other buildings will be kept on the property for the career pathway.
The building will look similar to West Forsyth and Lambert high schools, the district’s two newest campuses.
“There will be some subtle differences, but it will be very similar,” Bearden said.
Denmark — named after the late Leila Denmark, one of the first female pediatricians in Georgia and who lived adjacent to the site — is expected to open with a 2,100-student capacity.
However, if the project comes in under budget, it will be built for 2,500, according to Jennifer Caracciolo, spokeswoman for the school system.
Dr. Denmark’s former practice may be moved next to the school campus, and a 10-acre property next to the site may be used to build a new library branch or sheriff’s office precinct.
The Forsyth County commission agreed in March to purchase a synthetic turf field to be installed at the school that will be shared with the parks and recreation department, similar to an agreement the county has with Lambert.
Brandywine Elementary and DeSana Middle are also being constructed near Denmark, between McFarland Parkway, Union Hill Road and Hwy. 9.
Redistricting for Denmark will commence in the fall of 2017.