School board expected to decide on FHS design option

After months of discussions with students, teachers, architects and the public, the Fayetteville School Board is expected to decide on a direction to take for the FHS renovation project at this Thursday’s board meeting.

Due to limits in available funding, the 10-year master plan which was unveiled to the public last week will have to be completed in two parts since there’s only enough money for one part right now. Each part will include two phases.

The board is now tasked with deciding which part to begin construction on first.

It should be noted that funding for the second part of the master plan are not included in the original bond money allocated to the district by the State for this particular project.

The master plan

The four quadrants

The master plan divides the current campus into four sections with the current classroom space being labeled as quadrant 1. Quadrants 2, 3 and 4 will be all-new structures while quadrant 1 is slated to receive a complete renovation that will house six small learning community centers. These centers are planned as an effort to provide the benefits of a small school environment within a large-sized facility.

Quadrants 2 and 3 will be home to the public functions facilities and will include a new performing arts center, a gymnasium and a cafeteria and will serve as a new, identifiable face to the campus that fronts Martin Luther King Blvd.

Quadrant details

Quadrant 4 will connect to quadrant 1 to make up the academics facilities and will house a new 600-student small learning center that will bring the total capacity of the school to 2,400 students.

The public functions and academics sections of the new school will be divided by an outdoor classroom and green space area that stretches the entire width of the campus.

Option 1

The first option would include construction of quadrants 2, 3 and 4 and would not touch the current classroom facilities. The outdoor green space is also included. The obvious advantages include minimal disruption to students while the new facilities are being constructed and an overall cost savings. Another plus is that the first small learning community that is built will be able to be tested before implementing the new centers across the board.

Click to see complete pros/cons and phases for Option 1

Option 2

The second option would include renovation of the current campus (quadrant 1) as well as construction of quadrant 2. As with the first option, the green space is also included. Obvious advantages include modernization of the entire existing learning center including 100 percent of the existing core classroom space.

Click to see complete pros/cons and phases for Option 2

After the presentations last week, the architectural team of Hight Jackson, DLR Group and Marlon Blackwell took public comment at each meeting. Below are some of the questions that were asked followed by the team’s answers.

Q: Could either option be completed within three years?
A: Yes. Both options, including the two phases that each requires can be finished in three years, said the team.

Proposed green space

Q: Will the green space between each structure be safe and secure?
A: Although plans aren’t finalized, the architects said they were confident in being able to provide security.

Q: Could a canopy be built between the two structures to keep students dry on rainy days?
A: The team said that even though that wasn’t a part of the initial design, if the district wants a connection, a few possibilities exist.

Whichever option is chosen, it’s clear that our city’s high school will be receiving a much-needed facelift as well as a major overhaul in terms of its infrastructure over the course of the next 10 years (or less).

Download the architects’ presentation on the design options for Fayetteville High School for more imagery.

To see even more, check out the video from the special board meeting on Jan. 14, 2010.

If the above slide show doesn’t load, please visit the entire set on Flickr.