Alcoa unveils plans for new high school

10:54 PM, Jun 14, 2012   |    comments
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After seven years of planning, Alcoa City Schools unveiled plans for their new high school.

The new building would nearly double student capacity.

The existing building, parts of which were built in 1939, is suitable for 600 students, according to Director of Schools Dr. Brian Bell.

He says the new 180,000 square foot facility would accommodate 1,000 students.

Currently he says they're on track to exceed capacity of the current facility off Faraday Street in the next two to three years.

But first, voters must approve a half-cent sales tax increase to fund the the three phase, $30 million project.

The plans feature a sprawling lawn leading up to an aluminum dome and columned entry way.

Bell says it was a conscious effort to pay tribute the former aluminum company in Alcoa that donated the original school building.

"It's still a facility in good shape, it's just too small for us," says Bell.

The building includes 32 classrooms, technology suites, student centers, and more.     

They hope to have Phase I, including the main building, the new football field and track, and the softball and baseball facilities completed by January of 2015.

It would sit adjacent to the existing high school and middle school.

The building would orient to the west, with one of the wings and a parking lot sitting where the currently baseball field sits.

They would relocate the field to behind the school, bordering an old railroad track and scenic woodlands.

The football stadium would be situated approximately in the same place it currently sits, and feature new home-side seating and a track encircling it.

After they build the new high school, Alcoa City Schools will move to a four-school system.

The existing elementary schools will hold students kindergarten through second grade.

The existing middle school will hold third, fourth and fifth graders.

The old high school will hold sixth, seventh and eighth graders.

Nine-12th graders will be in the new building.

Alcoa Mayor Don Mull says he's the building is something the community could be proud of.

"I am in favor of the half-cent sales tax," says Mull. "We're hoping that this happens and this is a reality."

Dr. Bell proposed two public input sessions at the high school's auditorium for June 18 from 4-6 p.m and June 19 from 10 a.m.- 1 p.m.

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