As the March 24 vote creeps closer, Hall County Schools has accelerated its design plans for a new Cherokee Bluff Middle School.
If the special purpose local option sales tax and general obligation bond referendum is approved, the district will begin adding a 209,700-square-foot building to Cherokee Bluff Middle/High’s current 138-acre property.
Matt Cox, Hall’s executive director of facilities and construction, showed renderings of the middle school during the Board of Education’s work session on Monday, Jan. 13.
“We’re about where I wanted to be,” Cox said. “I wanted to start the year feeling like we were set on this plan, and I feel like we’re very close.”
The floor plan from the architectural firm, Robertson Loia Roof, has gone before the eyes of middle school principals and a seven-person committee of Hall staff members.
Cox first revealed the preliminary floor plans in October 2019. After receiving input from Hall staff members, several modifications were made.
Instead of having a 215,600-square-foot facility as originally proposed, the classrooms were sized down from 800 square feet to 750 square feet. Cox said this change was prompted by input from instructors, who recommended different types of furniture that would save space. This reduction knocked the total building size down by nearly 600 square feet.
Superintendent Will Schofield said the district’s newest middle school contains classes at 660 square feet, which is the state standard.
“That’s (750 square feet) a good number,” Cox said. “I feel like that’s going to be a comfortable classroom to have the flexibility we need.”
The preliminary floor plan places the classrooms in a three-story wing toward the back of the building. The wing is designed to fit 1,500 students.
The new design includes a second elevator in case of the loss of one elevator.
Cox also shifted around the gymnasium to make room for an 89-space primary parking lot for teachers.
If all goes well for the school system in March, Cherokee Bluff Middle could have its own building by the fall of 2022. The project is one of the many upgrades in the district’s 10-year facilities plan. Hall has designated $44 million toward construction costs.
For more information about E-SPLOST VI and the bond referendum, visit esplost.hallco.org.