This story originally ran in the June 23 issue of the Community Voice. For your subscription, call 270-384-9454.
After officially being chosen last year to handle the design of the new Adair County Middle School, representatives of Deco Architects of Somerset made their second presentation to the school board last Thursday on the progress of the design.
Derek Phillips, Deco president, talked to board members about where the work currently stands, and initial plans on where rooms would be located, the flow of students throughout the building, and the school’s current front facade.
“When they made their first presentation to us in February, I think, they had a design,” said school board superintendent Dr. Pam Stephens. “Now, we’re getting down to the nitty gritty when we start making decisions and figuring out a dollar figure.”
The current expected cost of the school, once all the details have been decided, is just north of $41 million.
The current plans have the middle school attaching onto the high school on the side of ACHS facing Greensburg Street. The middle school will be three floors, grouped by grades. The eighth grade would be located on the main floor, with seventh grade on the bottom floor and the sixth grade on the top floor. Initially, the sixth grade was going to have its own wing so the school would not go over two stories.
“The grade levels are not set in stone,” Dr. Stephens said. “The one piece I would have credence totally to is the eighth grade being on the middle floor because it runs straight into the high school. That’s where our students move up in math, reading or science. They are traveling those corridors every day, so they don’t need to be coming from a floor above or the floor below.”
That layout did cause board chairman Troy Grider to express some safety concerns with sixth grade students get- ting out of the building should there be a fire. Grider said he wondered if parents would rather have their sixth grade students on the top floor or in their own wing, extending from the building.
Stephens said the original plan included two floors with an extended wing for the sixth grade. They then decided to eliminate the wing and add the third floor.
“It will still have the same number of class- rooms, same number of restrooms,” Dr. Stephens said. “I thought financially you should save money by putting the sixth grade on top of the building. Architecturally and building-wise, if you take a wall and make it 12 feet taller you don’t have to dig footers. You save the digging, pouring the concrete for the footers, laying the walls. This way the wall is already there.”
By Scott Wilson