Johnson High School’s knights have a shiny new armory.
The recently constructed field house and expanded band room was unveiled to the public on Monday, Aug. 26, before the Hall County Board of Education meeting.
Carroll Daniel Construction took the lead as the construction management company, teaming up with Hall County Schools and Johnson High administration.
The transformation started in March 2019 with the demolition of the old field house, which was built in the 1970s. The project wrapped up just in time for the first day of the fall 2019 semester.
Jonathan Edwards, associate principal at Johnson High, said the finished product surpassed all of his expectations.
“When I walked in that first time and saw it sitting there, I was like, ‘Wow,’” Edwards said. “We knew it would be great and make a big impact on our kids and programs, but they knocked it out of the park.”
Stan Lewis, Johnson High’s principal, said the funding for the field house and band room came out to a total of $4.36 million. This amount also includes a new exterior ramp and stairs behind the main building, a card reader access system, administrative office renovations and the resurfacing of tennis courts.
The $4.36 million in special purpose local option sales tax funding was approved by Hall’s Board of Education in mid-February 2019.
Tyler Jarrard, Carroll Daniel Construction project manager, said before the expansion of the band room, the facility had little to no storage space for marching band uniforms and instruments.
The upgrades transformed the existing band room into five rooms fitted for instrument repair, storage and a band director’s office. A 2,500-square-foot space was then added to become the new band room.
Jarrard describes the new 14,000-square-foot field house as “wildly different” from the former building.
He said the old field house was pre-engineered as a metal building and “clearly done in four different time periods.”
The new building contains a large meeting area, field storage space and two locker rooms — one for soccer and the other for football.
Edwards said the meeting room has the potential to be used during the school’s testing season.
Carroll Daniel Construction made sure to add little touches of school spirit to the building, including giant blue letters reading, “Home of the Knights,” below a blue knight logo.
“Within Hall County this is one of the better looking field houses out there,” Jarrard said. “I talked with the football coach, and they’re ecstatic to have a space that’s more clean, updated and modern, that they can call their own.”
During the months the field house was being constructed, Edwards said alumni and teachers recounted their fond memories of the facility.
“It was incrementally built over the years, and I got to hear stories about how it was built and how the community came together to build it,” he said. “That’s a neat aspect of it. It speaks to our community.”
Although their accounts of the older field house were positive, Edwards said those people were excited for the improvements.
“With it being new, the functionality is far superior,” he said. “We are very grateful to the Hall County School district, as well as Carroll Daniel Construction, for working with us and being accommodating.”