FORSYTH COUNTY — Forsyth County students, teachers and parents have been hearing of upcoming construction projects at schools throughout the county, and now they can see the final renderings for how their schools will look once completed.
Architects for projects at North and South Forsyth High schools presented their designs to the Board of Education last week, previewing what appears to be a complete remodeling and facelift for both campuses.
Projects will “completely change the look” of both schools, board members noted, and should help some of the issues with student flow and the feeling of being overcrowded. However, real overcrowding – including parking – will not be resolved until High School No. 6 opens in 2018.
Foreman Seeley Fountain Architects, who designed North’s project, aimed to alleviate traffic concerns facing the school, which shares roads with North Forsyth Middle and Coal Mountain Elementary schools, by moving bus parking to the southwest side of campus while having a parent drop-off on the opposite end.
There will be a new road between student lots that will connect to Coal Mountain Drive, which should ensure students and parents do not have to share the same roads.
A new 2,500-seat competition gym will be constructed next to the existing building, with a covered walkway between the two. The new gym will house three ROTC classrooms and a rifle competition area.
Renovations in the central area of campus will add 16 new classrooms, all of which will be located inside the main building. This enhances security, the architects said, as opposed to having multiple detached buildings.
A new cafeteria was also highlighted in the design renderings, with the existing lunch space to be converted into a band room. The current band room will be used for chorus.
South’s project, designed by Manley Spangler Smith Architects, echoes North in that it will have a new front façade and alleviate some of the same problems, including cafeteria space and a new gym.
The new front entrance will be located by the performing arts center, with administration offices moving from West Hall to the new main entrance.
The new competition gym is expected to be able to hold the school’s student body within its 42,000 square feet.
A courtyard in front of East Hall will bring a centralized feel to the campus, with walkways from it to the gym, cafeteria and East Hall. Parking can be seen from the fourth side.
There will be 23 instructional units added to the campus, bringing the total to 122 classrooms.
A covered pathway will lead from the front parking lot to the stadium, allowing access to games and events on the field without opening any school buildings, which enhances security.
Construction is scheduled to start May 26, with North beginning a “few weeks later.” The board approved Balfour Beatty Construction as the construction manager for South’s project, agreeing on a $25.7 million maximum price.
About $2.8 million will be reimbursed to the school district by the state’s capital outlay funds, while the rest will be funded locally.
Construction on both schools is expected to be completed for the 2017-18 school year.