Huntsville school board announces progress of new construction - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Huntsville school board announces progress of new construction

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Huntsville City Schools announced good progress in the construction of several new campuses. Huntsville City Schools announced good progress in the construction of several new campuses.
The council released renderings of what each new school will look like upon completion. (Source: Chapman-Sisson via HCS) The council released renderings of what each new school will look like upon completion. (Source: Chapman-Sisson via HCS)
HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) -

The Huntsville city school district's capital improvements initiative is proceeding well according to an update presented by Superintendent Casey Wardynski at the Thursday night meeting of the city school board.

"For Christmas, some pretty pictures of our new schools," Wardynski promised in unveiling designs for the district's new school building including two new high schools and new elementary schools.

Superintendent Dr. Casey Wardynski said both the new Grissom and Jemison High Schools will cost about $60 million dollars. Both will sit on about 55 acres and will be about 300,000 square feet. He said McNair Middle school will be about the same size as well.

He said the schools will have new features including a cyber café.

Wardynski said the schools will be similar in design but with variations to accommodate their respective lots. "The look and feel, very similar a lot of timber, stone, kind of a warm building, not a cold sterile office building feel," he said. 

The new Grissom, he said will also include much more parking than the old, with 1,100 spaces to Jemison McNair's 714 spaces.

He also promised a departure from the design of the previous high school buildings. "A key design feature that people have found useful these many years," he said, "Windows! The new schools will all have windows. And there will be a lot of things you can't see externally but are designed to provide safety and security for our kids. So tornado shelters throughout. These are rated up to 250 mph winds for, I think, 4 to 6 hours. So very tough structures to protect our kids."

The $25 million Whitesburg Elementary School, Wardynski revealed, will be smaller, 130,000 square feet and sit on 30 acres.

Of those projects, he said, Whitesburg is expected to be finished first, by summer of 2015, Jemison McNair by summer of 2016 and the new Grissom by the summer of 2017.

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